Vet's Two New Hips Good News for Her Four-Legged Patients

Following surgery at The Total Joint Center, West Warwick veterinarian was back to work on schedule and free of pain

When you’re treating a 180-pound English Mastiff that’s in pain and frightened, it helps to be agile and quick on your feet. For veterinarian Paige Plumb, DVM, though, painful arthritis in her hips hampered her ability to take care of all creatures great and small.

She knew she had to take action for the sake of her furry patients and her own quality of life. 

“I’m on my feet the majority of the time and need to be able to move quickly to manage emergencies, accommodate the movement of animals and the occasional snappy dog,” explains the West Warwick veterinarian. “I couldn’t get through a day without a great deal of pain.”

She noted that the condition of her hips also stopped her from her favorite pastime – exploring the trails of a local state park with her own dogs. 

Dr. Plumb found her way to hip and knee specialist Derek Jenkins, MD, of The Orthopedics Institute’s Total Joint Center at the Miriam Hospital. Fellowship-trained in total joint replacement surgery at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Jenkins uses the newest technology and practices advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques. 

After careful evaluation and discussion with Dr. Jenkins of surgical options, risks and benefits, Dr. Plumb decided the best option was simultaneous bilateral hip replacements. In lieu of two separate surgeries and recovery periods, she decided to have Dr. Jenkins replace both her hips during one surgery.

While speedier, the surgery isn’t an option for all patients.  

“I only offer that to patients who are young enough and healthy enough to tolerate the surgery … understanding that the recovery could be a little more difficult,” says Dr. Jenkins. Eager to return to her previous quality of life and spend as little time as possible away from her patients, Dr. Plumb was on board.

The surgery was a success and Dr. Plumb was up walking the next day. 

Dr. Jenkins, who studied engineering before medical school, said successful outcomes depend on precision, both during surgery and in the selection of hip replacements customized and planned for each patient’s unique body type.  His goal is always for his patients to have “an earlier recovery, do better faster, and have the longest duration of service of their implants.”  

Dr. Plumb was back to work in short order at the Companion Animal Welfare Society in West Warwick caring for her patients.

“The recovery was very smooth,” says Dr. Plumb. “I had the ability to be out walking in the woods within a few weeks of surgery. There isn’t anything I can’t do now. My hips no longer limit my life and, in fact, it’s just been life changing.”