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It Was Time for Hip Surgery – Then COVID-19 Hit

Joe DeRanieri walking


No one wants to find themselves needing surgery and even more so during a global pandemic like COVID-19.

Joe DeRanieri found himself in this exact position.

“I knew I would need hip surgery at some point. I had been having problems for about five years. But, I kept putting it off because it didn’t seem urgent,” Joe said. 

He met with Joseph Farrell, DO, a board certified orthopaedic surgeon with Orthopaedic Associates of Southern Delaware, a member of the Beebe Medical Staff.

“When I met with Dr. Farrell, I learned I had lost an inch in my leg. The pain was deepening and I was putting stress on my body. It was time.”

By January, Joe was struggling to walk. His surgery was scheduled for February 5, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was reaching the United States.

“We had heard of COVID-19 and were just starting conversations about how it might impact our state,” said Joe, who is also the Executive Director of Orthopaedics at Beebe Healthcare. “We figured it was coming, but I knew I was in great hands at Beebe. The Orthopaedics team is recognized every year for its commitment to quality and safety. There have always been many safety protocols in place to prevent infections. This is an added layer of precaution and our team is great at pivoting and adapting to new challenges.”

After his surgery, Joe was happy to learn he got back .9 inches of the inch he lost in his leg. After surgery, he was beaming when he could get out of bed and walk around the unit.

“It’s just an incredible feeling when you know everything went well and then you start moving your body … you start walking and you realize immediately that you already feel better,” Joe said. “I just couldn’t thank my team enough. They gave me back my mobility and my life.”

The issues with Joe’s hip started many years before when he was an active young man. He broke his foot ankle skiing, then injured his knee. It wasn’t until later when arthritis set into his hip that he realized he was facing a serious issue. 

“When you’re young, you tend to push through some of these things. You don’t realize how your body compensates. So you have an injured knee or broken ankle, you just push through it. But your body changes the way it behaves and in my case, it changed how I walked and how my hip moved, which caused damage and later arthritis,” he said.

“Even though I work for Beebe, I still did my research. Any time you are going in for surgery, you need to do your research and pick the best place for you based on your condition. I learned so much about Beebe that I didn’t even know and it was easy to know that it really was the best place for my surgery.”

Besides looking for a great hip program, Joe also looked at safety measures.

“Beebe Orthopaedic Services has received high marks for safety pretty much every year for the past decade,” Joe said. “So even with COVID-19 at our front gate, I knew I would be safe. And, as they say, you don’t want to delay your care. I had already delayed the surgery for much too long. It was time and I knew I would be in great hands.”

Learn more about Beebe Orthopaedic Services: