Joann Beauchamp - Bay City, MI
"A year ago I was using a cart the whole time when golfing...now I'm walking and I golfed all season!"
Marathon Runner is Off to the Races after Physical Therapy
Joann Beauchamp is retired from her job as a dental assistant, but is still living a very active, fulfilling life. She is excited to have extra time to spend with her three sons and six grandchildren. She also uses her extra time to take drumming lessons and play golf with her friends. Very recently, she got married, and is looking forward to a wonderful future with her husband.
However, a serious injury threatened to derail Beauchamp's retirement plans. Around Christmas two years ago, she was driving to work before 6 a.m., well before the sun had risen. Suddenly, her car hit a patch of black ice and flipped over in a ditch. Though she thankfully avoided life-threatening bodily harm, she landed hard on her hip.
After the accident, Beauchamp suffered severe pain in her injured hip, and eventually developed bursitis. Her hip became so stiff and sore that she had difficulty walking. Understandably, this interfered with her athletic activities, such as playing in her golf league. "A year ago, I had to ride on a cart the whole time," she said.
Beauchamp's chiropractor gave her a cortisone injection along the side of the hip to reduce the inflammation in her hip, and she was then referred to Non-Surgical Sports Medicine Specialist Daniel Diaz, D.O., with the WellSport Program at MidMichigan Health Park - Bay. "He is a very compassionate doctor," Beauchamp said. "He and his staff always treated me very well."
Dr. Diaz thoroughly evaluated Beauchamp's injury and physical capabilities and limitations. He also talked with Beauchamp to determine what her recovery goals were and what types of physical activity she hoped to participate in after she healed.
Taking this information into account, he devised a treatment plan for Beauchamp. The goal was to get her hip back to being strong and flexible enough to allow her to return to her normal activities pain-free and ideally, without needing surgery. First, he had Beauchamp attend six weeks of physical therapy.
"I learned to do a lot of exercises," Beauchamp said. During her therapy, her leg did get stronger, but the pain in her hip worsened. "It got to the point where I couldn't even lay on my side."
Making matters worse, following the accident, Beauchamp broke the bones in her feet due to complications from osteoporosis. She underwent multiple surgeries to repair the fractures. "Every time you have to wear a boot, you walk funny," she said. She estimates she had to have her chiropractor put her hip back into place about once a week during her recovery from foot surgeries.
Upon her follow-up with Dr. Diaz, he recognized that Beauchamp needed a more extensive treatment to get her hip inflammation under control. He began with a cortisone injection, but unlike her last injection that was made along the side of the hip, Dr. Diaz injected the cortisone directly into the hip itself. In fact, to ensure proper placement, he used ultrasound to guide the needle so that he could pinpoint the area in her hip.
It took a few days for the injection to start working, but when it did, the pain and stiffness in Beauchamp's hip improved dramatically. When she returned to Dr. Diaz for a follow-up appointment, she said to him, "I am so happy I could hug you!"
Afterward, Beauchamp continued physical therapy at MidMichigan Health Park – Bay for a while to get her joint function and her gait back to normal. By building up her muscles she could reduce the strain on her hip joint and further relieve the pain. She was thankful that she could complete her therapy close to home. "The therapists were always very accommodating and scheduled times that were convenient for me," she said.
Today, Beauchamp can lead her life as actively as she wants. Once again, she can enjoy hiking or going for a bike ride. She does yoga on a regular basis and can play in her golf league unhindered. "Now I'm walking when I golf," she said. "And I golfed all season long!"
Beauchamp is especially glad that her renewed mobility allows her to spend more quality time with her family. She usually has at least one of her grandkids with her at any given time, and she frequently goes on walks with them.
Thanks to MidMichigan Health, Beauchamp has many more adventures to look forward to in the years to come. "I would definitely recommend them," she said. "I couldn't say enough good things about Dr. Diaz and the rehab staff."
Those who would to learn more about Dr. Diaz may visit www.midmichigan.org/diaz. To learn more about MidMichigan Health's WellSport program, visit www.midmichigan.org/wellsport.