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Middlesex woman climbs mountains four months after anterior hip replacement

Arabella hiked in Iceland four months after undergoing an anterior hip replacement performed by Dr. Bert Parcells.

Only four months after receiving an anterior hip replacement, Arabella D., 23, of Middlesex County, climbed and reached the summit of multiple Icelandic peaks – a feat which previously was impossible for her.

Arabella’s surgeon, Bert Parcells, MD, describes her progress as “a remarkable transformation for someone who struggled to walk only a few blocks just months earlier.” Arabella suffered a severe hip fracture when she was 12 years old. To stabilize her injury, her hip was pinned emergently the very next day. Though this procedure was necessary, over the next 10 years Arabella experienced progressive arthritic changes as a direct result. She maintained an active lifestyle despite her injury; however, she was greatly limited by the pain she experienced on a daily basis.

In November 2018, she decided she was ready to break through her disability. After undergoing anterior hip replacement with Dr. Parcells, in less than four months, Arabella felt strong enough to travel to Iceland. She climbed mountains and reached the summit of many peaks and promontories, such as Dyrhólaey.

Arabella even got engaged to her boyfriend during the same trip.

When asked why she wanted to hike Iceland’s rugged terrain, Arabella said, “I see my trip to Iceland as a test of my will, my recovery and my determination. Before the surgery, I couldn’t sit without being uncomfortable. I couldn’t drive and couldn’t hike. Before the surgery, I would have said no I wouldn’t have been able to do this. Once I had the surgery, I felt like I could do anything.”

Dr. Parcells, of Seaview Orthopaedic and Medical Associates, is one of the busiest anterior hip replacement surgeons at both Monmouth Medical Center and Ocean Medical Center. He performs more than 95% of his hip replacements through the anterior approach because of the excellent outcomes. Medical studies have shown that the anterior approach allows for a faster recovery and decreased pain medication requirements.

According to Dr. Parcells, “Anterior hip replacement allows for improved recovery because it is minimally invasive, meaning surgeons are able to reach the arthritic hip using the natural planes between muscles, as opposed to the traditional approach which splits and cuts muscles.”

Arabella acknowledged it is rare for a 23-year-old to have had a hip replacement. She thanked Dr. Parcells for understanding that her quality of life was suffering and for providing the best option with the best possible outcome.

Seaview Orthopaedic & Medical Associates provides compassionate musculoskeletal care in Monmouth, Middlesex and Ocean counties. Seaview offers a full suite of orthopedic specialties including joint replacement, sports medicine, pain management and pediatric orthopaedics.

This month, Seaview will open a new office location in Holmdel.

Dr. Bert Parcells of Seaview Orthopaedic and Medical Associates, which is opening a new office in Holmdel this month.
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