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Stephanie's Story

Joined At The Hip - Nail Technician and Her Client Find Relief with Henry Ford Hip Surgeon

Stephanie Tromblay feels she is one of the lucky ones. A proud mother of two boys, the Ecorse resident is a nail technician performing manicures and pedicures at a high-end salon in Wyandotte.

“When people ask me what I do for a living, I respond that I’m a nail technician. When they ask me what I do for fun, it’s the same answer,” says Stephanie. “I feel very fortunate to love what I do for a living at a salon that treats me great.”

Stephanie also loves to stay active- with activities that include riding her bike, going to concerts, enjoying her younger son perform with the school’s marching band and doing cardio kickboxing at the gym. But over the last couple of years, the 43-year-old has found it challenging to do some of the active things she loves due to pain in both of her hips.

Seeking help through injections and therapy

The pain, which Stephanie described as flare-ups, had gotten progressively worse over the past ten years. “When I would get out of bed, I would hear a pop and it would be difficult to get up,” she says.

Steroid injections provided temporary pain relief. She also tried physical therapy, which in some cases made the pain worse. “Physical therapy can help with muscle strength, but I came to find out that the pain was coming from my joints.”

As the pain got worse, Stephanie saw several therapists and physicians who suggested she continue with the injections until they no longer worked and then surgery may be recommended.

Over the last two years, the pain got so bad that it was making life really hard.

“When I had these flare-ups, it got to the point that I couldn’t even speak. I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t sleep, and it would be like that for several days,” she explains.

When the injections did not work, she would go to a local hospital to get morphine to help with the pain and allow her to sleep, but eventually that didn’t work either.

“When you are in so much pain, it takes a toll on everything you do, and it was affecting my mental health.”

A life-changing solution

Coincidentally, Kathryn Cosgrove, Stephanie’s client for the past three years who is a former nurse, was also suffering from hip pain. It turned out it was something that would bond them forever.

“Prior to Kathryn having surgery, she walked with a cane and was hunched over and in severe pain,” Stephanie expressed emotionally. “Despite the 20 plus year age difference, we bonded over what we were going through. She needed new hips and so did I.”

Kathryn, who is 73 years old, had additional medical issues including scoliosis. Although her condition and background was different, she provided Stephanie with valuable information about what she was going through as she prepared for her hip surgery at Henry Ford with joint replacement surgeon, Trevor Banka, M.D.

“Seeing her physical transformation before my eyes and watching what a dramatic difference the surgery made for her which allowed her to be pain free, made me decide I needed her doctor,” says Stephanie.

Dr. Banka had the answer

In January of 2023, after flare-ups resulted in so much intense pain that it made Stephanie afraid to do many normal activities, she made the decision to call Dr. Banka and saw him the following month.

Stephanie believed because of her younger age, she had to fight and defend her hip pain which is normally associated with older adults. That changed instantly when she went to Henry Ford and met with Dr. Banka.

“When I first saw Dr. Banka, I had an active flare-up. When he walked in the room, he said ‘so you need some new hips.” I instantly felt validated and knew I was where I needed to be.”

In June of 2023, Stephanie had her first hip replacement surgery for her left hip at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, which happens to be where her youngest son was born.

“The same day after that surgery, the pain I was feeling from the flare-ups was gone.”

Dr. Banka explains Stephanie’s arthritis was caused by hip dysplasia, which occurs when the hip joint does not develop properly from birth which leads to early, and severe, arthritis.

“Unfortunately, many other surgeons dismissed her condition due to her young age and told her she was not a candidate for hip replacement. The reality was a hip replacement was the only thing which would relieve her pain,” Dr. Banka says.

Fast forward two months, after undergoing physical therapy, it was time to do her right hip, one that according to Dr. Banka had more severe joint deterioration. After her first surgery, she was excited to have her right hip surgery because it would make her one step closer to getting back to her healthy, active lifestyle.

“Both surgeries went fantastic,” expresses Dr. Banka. “My part of putting the hips in is the easy part. Stephanie had the hard work of physical therapy after surgery. I look at it as we’re in it together, they are not my hips, not her hips, they are ours together. Teamwork.”

“I feel pretty great.” Stephanie says after undergoing the right hip surgery. Although she didn’t recover quite as quickly as her left hip replacement, Stephanie explains the pain relief has been dramatic thanks to the surgeries Dr. Banka performed.

She joked with Dr. Banka that due to her OCD, she was hoping her scars would be symmetrical.

“Not only did the surgeries go great, but he even accomplished that task,” she laughed.

Stephanie is easing back into her daily activities and has gone back to work at the salon on a part-time basis. As she continues to undergo physical therapy for a quicker recovery, she expects to return full-time in the near future to the salon where she loves to make her clients feel great. The salon that thanks to one of her clients, also gave her the opportunity to have her pain free life back.

“I look forward to going back to the gym and even trying belly dancing with my new hips.”

Are you ready to take the next step and return to the life you love without pain? Find a Henry Ford orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint repair and replacement and request an appointment today.

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