Joyce,  Ortho Hip Revision Patient

Joyce with her husband, Dick.

When Joyce had treatment for soft tissue sarcoma in 1996, she thought the worst was behind her. But the very next year, she needed a total hip replacement.

Life continued relatively pain free for Joyce until 2012 when she fractured her replaced hip and needed corrective surgery. The surgery fixed the fracture, but after a while she started experiencing severe pain.

“Things were awful—I usually have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but my hip hurt so much that I couldn’t walk,” Joyce said.

Joyce went to three orthopedic surgeons close to her home in Hagerstown, Md. to figure out what the issue was—each one said that there was simply nothing that they could do. After much frustration, Joyce was resigned to live the rest of her life in pain. That’s when her infectious disease doctor referred her to Dr. Vincent Ng, an orthopedic oncologist at UMMC who specializes in orthopedic surgery.

Dr. Ng took one look at Joyce’s X-rays and knew how to fix the problem, which stemmed from the loosening of her hip components and an aggressive infection. It took three additional operations to remove the dysfunctional hip and put in new, more reliable hardware. Dr. Ng treated Joyce’s infection with a round of antibiotics.

Despite having three surgeries over the course of four months, Joyce bounced back very quickly. After her last surgery, she completed rehabilitation at her home and went from being on a walker to using a cane (primarily for balance) in just six weeks. She is now living life pain-free.

“When I asked Dr. Ng’s assistant why he was able to diagnose me so quickly, she said that he noticed a very faint shadow around my hip, which is a sign to check for infection. He saw what three other doctors didn’t see, and I am forever grateful,” Joyce said.

For a second (or third or fourth) opinion with the University of Maryland Department of Orthopaedics call 410-448-6400.