A day at the beauty salon started out like most hair appointments for Ruth Lyons. Her stylist rolled Lyons’ hair up, while they exchanged conversation. Then, it was off to the dryer for a few minutes. What happened next would change everything.
“After my hair dried, I got up and walked to the stylist’s chair to have the curlers removed. The chair broke and so did my femur,” said the 78-year-old Lyons. “I couldn’t even move.”
She was immediately transported to Med- West-Harris, where Dr. Ryan Slechta performed surgery to repair the broken femur, implanting a metal rod and pin from her hip to her knee to help stabilize the fractured femur. After a five-day stay at the hospital, she began a three-week program of physical therapy.
Lyons, who worked for 30 years at the Dayco plant in Waynesville, has survived colon cancer twice and said she was confident that the surgery would allow her to fully recover from the fractured femur too.
“Dr. Slechta is an excellent orthopedic doctor. I had been to him a couple of times before this incident because I have arthritis in my knees,” Lyons said. “He’s very nice and always does a good job,” she said.
Fractures of the femur are sometimes caused when the bones of elderly people are weakened by osteoporosis, tumor or infection. It’s a common injury in elderly individuals. In the United States, hip fractures are the most common broken bone that requires hospitalization. About 300,000 Americans are hospitalized for a hip fracture every year.
Treatment of a hip fracture almost always requires surgery. In some cases, such as some stress fractures of the hip, or in patients who have severe medical problems that prevent surgical treatment, non-operative treatment may be recommended. However, most all hip fractures are treated with surgery. The type of surgery that is preferred depends on the type of fracture.
Dr. Slechta is in practice at Sylva Orthopaedic Associates, 80 Healthcare Drive, Suite 203, Sylva. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 586-5531.
MedWest-Harris, MedWest-Haywood and MedWest-Swain have joined together to provide healthcare for the people of Western North Carolina. MedWest is affiliated with Carolinas HealthCare System (www.carolinashealthcare.org), one of the leading healthcare providers in the Southeast, with 33 hospitals in North and South Carolina.