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Breaking Free From Hip Pain: Beth Morris Discovers the Power of Orthopedic Surgery

Beth Morris
For Beth Morris, of St. Robert, making the decision to switch her care to Phelps Health has made a world of difference.

Published on February 1, 2024

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Three Things to Know

  • Beth Morris struggled with debilitating hip pain for years, before making the decision to have a hip replacement surgery at Phelps Health.
  • After her procedure, Beth’s pain has significantly lessened and she’s looking forward to spending more time with her grandkids.
  • Beth is thankful for the care she’s received at Phelps Health.

For most of her adult life, Beth Morris has been on her feet doing physical labor. The St. Robert, Missouri, resident worked in motels for 20 years before moving on to janitorial work at Fort Leonard Wood.

The result? She was in dire need of a hip replacement.

“It was bone on bone, basically,” said Beth, age 53, of her left hip. “And it was broke. The ball of the joint was deteriorating.”

Beth had tried pain injections at other orthopedic clinics over the years, but they weren’t doing the trick. After feeling like she was getting the runaround and no real answers, she took her dad’s advice.

“He asked me, ‘Why don't you change doctors? Why don't you try something else? I would rather you do that before it's too late,’” Beth said.

She also remembered how her mom, now deceased, had struggled for years with similar pain. Beth chose Phelps Health Orthopedics in Rolla, on the recommendation of her good friend, who had experienced wonderful treatment from doctors at the Phelps Health Waynesville Medical Plaza.

August 28, 2023, was the day Beth first met with Phelps Health Orthopedic Surgeon Michael Potter, MD.

“After seeing my X-rays, I could tell he was very concerned,” she said of Dr. Potter. “When I’ve seen other doctors, they didn’t show the same level of attention and concern. But this was different.

Michael Potter, MD
Michael Potter, MD

“I didn't realize it was as bad as it was, but the cartilage was all gone. Dr. Potter strongly recommended I undergo a hip replacement surgery. I was scared at first, but the pain was getting so bad that I was having to use a walker. I remember crying myself to sleep, asking God to take the pain away, but nothing was helping.”

With her conservative options exhausted, Beth decided to go forward with the hip replacement. Her procedure was originally scheduled for January 2024, but after seeing his patient in debilitating pain, Dr. Potter moved the surgery up to November of 2023.

On November 22, Beth went in to surgery. She was extremely nervous about the procedure, but remembers the nurses assuring her that everything would be OK. Beth was given anesthesia and went off to sleep.

“My kids said that I wasn’t under very long,” Beth said. “After waking up, I remember Dr. Potter coming in to talk to me. The surgery went well, and I’m so thankful for everyone who had a hand in it.”

She would then stay overnight as her care team administered pain medication and antibiotics, to keep any possible infection at bay. In fact, Beth, who was already skilled at using a walker, got up in the middle of that first night to use the restroom, with the supervision of a nurse. On the morning of her discharge, she was already walking down the hospital hall.

When she arrived home, Beth was thankful for family and friends who stayed with her.

“I rested a lot. I slept and took my medicine,” she said. “I’m not big on pain meds, but I took them for a couple days and then switched over to Tylenol. I just took it slow.”

Beth is now on the road to recovery, with the help of physical therapy.

“I have good days, bad days and in-between days,” she said. “The pain that I endured before I had the hip replacement was terrible compared to what I'm going through now.”

Today, Beth rates her hip pain at a five or six, on a scale of one to 10, where 10 is the highest level of pain.

“Before my surgery, it was a 10 all the time,” she said. “Ten being awful.”

At her first post-op appointment, Beth saw Brett Clayton, PA-C, MHS, an orthopedic physician assistant who collaborates with Dr. Potter.

“I walked down the hall without my walker, and Brett was pretty amazed,” said Beth, who can best be described as resilient. “I’ve been told that I’m a pretty tough cookie.”

Brett Clayton, PA-C
Brett Clayton, PA-C

In addition to her Orthopedic providers, she also sees Physician Assistant Nathan Crawshaw at the Phelps Health Waynesville Medical Plaza, for her primary care needs. Carly Owens, a care coordinator also at the Waynesville Medical Plaza, has been another invaluable member of Beth’s care team.

“Carly knew my good friend,” she said. “Before I was a patient, I would take my friend to appointments at Phelps Health, which is when I first met Carly. She introduced herself and made me feel welcomed. She assured me that if there was anything I needed, she would be there. I just know Carly had a big hand in it [my care].”

Beth also recommends using the MyChart app, the Phelps Health patient portal.

“I like MyChart because you can see what you've got going on, what you've had done, what doctors you've seen and what they're going to do. You can view your X-ray results right then and there, instead of waiting to get papers. It’s fast and easy,” she said.

For Beth, making the decision to switch her care to Phelps Health has made a world of difference.

“I’ve been amazed by the kindness and everything that they've [my care team] done to show me they care,” she said. “And I'm glad I came to Dr. Potter. And Brett. I love both of them; they're wonderful.”

Now with her hip replacement behind her, Beth is thankful for an improved quality of life.

“I'm ready to just enjoy my grandkids, enjoy life,” she said. “Just be me, run around and have fun.”

Don’t Let Pain Hold You Back

Are you struggling with hip pain and not finding any relief? Contact Phelps Health Orthopedics today at (573) 364-5633 to set up an appointment.

Found in: Care Care Management Family Medicine Faster Recovery Health Hip Orthopedics Pain Surgery Wellness