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In Family Of Five, Hip Replacements Common

Betty Landis (seated) and her children (standing, L to R) Gary, Janet and Phillip have all had hip-replacement surgeries. Photo by Daniel Riordan, Times-Union. Betty Landis (seated) and her children (standing, L to R) Gary, Janet and Phillip have all had hip-replacement surgeries. Photo by Daniel Riordan, Times-Union.

Daniel Riordan
Times-Union Staff Writer, 7/6/2011 12:30:00 PM

LEESBURG – It’s not uncommon for family members to have the same hair color or a similar build. But for one family they all share something that they weren’t born with.

Matriarch Betty Landis and her deceased husband, Bud, along with their children, Phillip, Gary and Janet Bennett, have all been the recipients of hip replacements. Janet and her husband, David, live in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. She was the last of the three siblings to have her hip replaced. “Gary and I were on her pretty good toward the end about getting it done,” said Phillip.

Janet, like her brothers had in the past, put off the surgery until the pain became unbearable. “On a scale of 1 to 10, I was at an 11 right before the surgery,” said Janet, who still needs to have her other hip replaced.Janet’s surgery was the quickest and least invasive of all the hip surgeries the Landises have been through. Betty had her hip replaced nearly 23 years ago and was in the hospital for several days.Phillip was the first of the children to have the surgery in November 2003, and Gary followed the next November.

So how does everyone in an immediate family end up needing a hip replacement?“One doctor we talked to said it looked like some virus that went through the whole family,” said Phillip’s wife Barbara. For a long time, family get-togethers would consist of a lot of limping and pain. Gary got to the point where he couldn’t sit in the back seat of a car.

They all would avoid stairs as much as they could. The brothers, who loved to golf, couldn’t in colder weather and had a hard time getting up inclines to the green. The pain caused Janet’s blood pressure to go up, which kept her from getting surgery. “The pain affects everything,” said Janet. “They all would come up with things to help them cope,” said Janet’s husband, David. “Leaning on shopping carts at the store. Walking a certain way. Avoiding stairs.”

“I found one way I could sleep and did that,” said Phillip. Phillip’s hip was in such bad shape and it caused such a severe limp, his doctor in Texas, where he and his wife live, added bone to his leg to even him out. Betty said she couldn’t figure out what it may have been. Janet said all three kids weren’t sickly and all very athletic. Betty used to walk four miles a day. “I had a neighbor tell me to quit doing that cause I wear out my hips,” said Betty. “I guess she was right.” From Betty’s home near Tippecanoe Lake Tuesday morning, they said the difference before and after the surgery was night and day. Barbara said the surgeries helped improve all of their quality of life. “Having my hip done was the best thing I ever did,” said Gary.

Both Gary and Phillip admitted that they put off the surgeries because of work and not wanting to be laid up for several weeks. But once they decided to have it done, and when they felt all the pain they had lived with go away, they set their sights on their sister. Janet had her surgery in 2010, and said as soon as she woke she could feel the difference. Now Janet, who works at a high school in Ohio, is fine with taking stairs. Before she would avoid them at all costs.

The Landises all agreed that physical therapy was a big help on their road to recovery. “The hardest part isn’t the hip, it’s all the muscles they cut to get to the hip,” said Gary. “It’s about building those muscles back up.” Being from near the Orthopedic Capital of the World, they said they had a better working knowledge with the companies where they would get their hips. All knew where they got theirs from. And the Big Three in Warsaw are represented by the Landis family. Bud, who worked for Zimmer, had Zimmer and Depuy implants. Betty has had all Zimmer products. Janet’s doctor used Biomet, Gary’s Zimmer and Phillip’s DePuy. “The doctors use whatever they are comfortable with,” said Phillip. “But a lot of times people don’t know which company is being used on them,” said Janet. “We all knew to ask.”

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