She’s a 30-year resident of the Outer Banks, an enthusiast of antiques, a former teacher’s assistant at Kitty Hawk Elementary School and a talented artist. But to the team at the Outer Banks Medical Group, Belinda Foster is much more than that. She’s a golden child; a walking miracle. And her time at Outer Banks Orthopedics & Sports Medicine holds a special significance: Foster is this practice’s 999th joint replacement.
Foster has received four joint replacements at Outer Banks Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. It all began when she began experiencing discomfort three and a half years ago.
“I started having pain in my knee,” Foster said. “My doctor at that time recommended that I go to see an orthopedic surgeon, and I saw Dr. Mann. He told me that I had a lot of arthritis, and that it would only get worse. And it did.”
When the pain grew unbearable, Foster – who is a longtime resident of a lovely old country farmhouse in Currituck and Aydlett – underwent her first knee replacement procedure.
“A year later, my other knee started bothering me,” Foster said. “It was the same thing: deteriorating bone-on-bone. So I had that procedure done, too.”
The knee replacement surgeries improved Foster’s ability to carry out everyday tasks…for a while.
“I was still having difficulty walking,” Foster said. “Not from the knees, because those surgeries were successful; but the arthritis had progressed to my hips. So last year around Thanksgiving, I had my left hip replaced. Then at Christmas, I had the right hip replaced.”
If all this sounds tough, Foster can confirm: it is.
“It’s very hard,” Foster said. “It takes some work.”
But Foster said that her quality of life is vastly better now than it was before these surgeries.
“I was literally crippled,” Foster said. “I mean, really, really crippled. I was using a walker. I hadn’t worked in my yard in four years. I couldn’t walk on the beach. I couldn’t ride my bike. Even something as simple as walking around the grocery store was so painful that it brought tears to my eyes; it was horrible. And now, I don’t even think about it. It’s truly a miracle.”
Foster spoke highly of her time at both Outer Banks Orthopedics & Sport Medicine and The Outer Banks Hospital, saying that every single team member she encountered was compassionate and attentive.
“I always felt very safe and secure,” she said. “Even though I was nervous, I was never really afraid because I had such confidence in all of them. Every staff member: the nurses, the rehabilitation team, the doctors…they were very kind, very understanding and very caring.”
Thanks to her surgeries and her diligence in the recovery process, Foster can enjoy activities that she was unable to before. She’s currently involved in water aerobics classes and regularly works out at the Y. She can now attend art shows and stand the entire time. She’s even looking forward to biking with her husband as the weather turns cool in the fall.
Foster feels a special significance in being the 999th joint replacement of a practice that helped her so much.
“It’s very special; it’s just amazing,” she said. “The care I received at the hospital was fabulous, and so was Dr. Mann and his entire staff. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.”
Don’t miss the story about Peggy Privot, Outer Banks Orthopedics and Sports Medicine’s 1000th joint replacement. Click here.