Laura Dutka’s life was on hold while she awaited hip surgery.
In her early 60s, the longtime owner of Paramount Day Spa was enjoying an active life. She liked walking, working out regularly, travelling, and life on her property outside of Saskatoon.
“But I’d been struggling for about 10 years,” Laura says. “I thought it was just sore muscles or aging so I tried various therapies. They’d help but the pain in my hip would never really go away. I finally got fed up and went to my doctor, who referred me to a surgeon, Dr. Ian Lutz.
“He said if you have pain, we should definitely replace the hip.”
Because of the demand and backlog for surgery in the city, Laura waited an uncomfortable nine months before the first operation. Meanwhile the pain in her other hip increased to the point where she and Dr. Lutz decided to replace it, too.
While waiting, she noticed her well-being gradually decreasing. “Sometimes you don’t realize how many steps you take until it’s painful. Very slowly over time, I stopped doing things I used to enjoy,” Laura says, noting it included one of her favourite activities. “I couldn’t go shopping anymore because I couldn’t even walk a block. I’d be exhausted from the pain.”
Laura notes a sense of resignation to the pain and had considered going elsewhere for the surgery. “But I felt comfortable with Dr. Lutz and wanted to wait it out. I was glad to get the call for the first one.”
Her right hip was done last spring followed by her left hip in September. “These were the first operations since I had my tonsils out when I was six years old. The second one went even better than the first. There was less pain and a faster recovery.”
She has some advice for others facing similar pain. “Go to your doctor and get it done. It is so worth it. I didn’t realize how much I’d stopped doing until after my recovery.”
Waiting for vital surgical procedures isn’t rare in the city and province. As the population ages and grows, demand for hospital services increase. At Saskatoon City Hospital, there are 12,000 surgeries, many like Laura’s, every year. You can help improve wait times by ensuring the Operating Rooms at Saskatoon City Hospital have the best and newest equipment.