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Most athletes can point to a spark of inspiration that keeps them striving. For Peggy Leiker, it’s a big brass band. “I’m just crazy about John Philip Sousa marches. I don’t think I can walk very far without them,” said the treadmill enthusiast. “But I just put those earphones on — and away I go!”
A walk-star in her own right, Leiker has been sidelined by more than her share of health challenges, including a heart valve replacement, laminectomy to treat a pinched nerve in her back, broken ankle and, most recently, a broken hip.
Before that, Leiker had begun to experience the thrill of victory through her exercise regimen — treadmill walking through Sharp Chula Vista’s Rehab Program. “I had started exercising on the treadmill, and I was really getting good at it. I got to where I could go for 50 minutes. The music gives me energy and endurance.”
Then came the agony of defeat: Leiker had broken her ankle last spring and was still in the cast boot and on crutches when she fell and broke her hip.
Lucky for Leiker, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center-affiliated orthopedic surgeon Dr. Harbinder Chadha was able to perform a total hip replacement using a minimally invasive procedure — called PATH — that required a very small incision. This means less pain and faster recovery for Leiker. Good news for someone trying to lace up her sneakers, get back on the treadmill and walk the walk.
Leiker was impressed by the treatment she received during her stay: “Everyone was so attentive. The nurses were wonderful. Dr. Chadha came to check on me in the wee hours, and I remembered wondering when he ever got home to see his wife.”
Special “TLC” is just part of Sharp’s Joint Endeavor Program. The team includes physical therapists, specially trained orthopedic nurses, social workers and pharmacists. Education is the cornerstone of the program. Patients attend a preoperative class led by a clinical nurse specialist. The class includes information on physical therapy, methods for improving mobility and techniques for handling daily activities. While in the hospital, patients receive visits from the clinical nurse specialist who helps to guide them through their stays.
Find a San Diego Orthopedic Surgeon
To learn more about orthopedics at Sharp or to find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for San Diego orthopedic surgeons or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm.