thank you Summit Orthopedics!

Walking brings me back to myself.

Laurette Mortimer
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The hip bone’s connected to the leg bone…

I am thrilled to announce that Summit Orthopedics is supporting my Continental Divide Hike. Thank you so much, Summit, for getting me back on my feet and on my way to #walkingtheworld!


Last October, I was told by lovely Doctor Stroemer at Summit Orthopedics in the Twin Cities that I had no cartilage left in my hip socket. It all came on fast starting with what I thought was a pulled muscle progressing quickly to barely being able to walk. They gave me a cortisone shot and I tested it by taking one last, limping thru-hike of the Kekekabic. The shot took away the pain, but it wasn’t going to grow back cartilage, so under the knife I went for two total hip athroplasty surgeries.

The surgeries were a success and I became very intentional about healing, walking the halls of local malls before progressing to snowy but flat trails using traction and finally a visit to Colorado and a snow shoe walk up 14,271 foot Quandary Peak (it the easiest 14er to climb in winter, but I was only five months out at that point!)

Summit Orthopedics is financially supporting my walk of the Continental Divide Trail.

Since March, I have been on a mission to regain my strength by doing planks and yoga, biking, and, of course loads of walking, like hours on end. You can listen to the Blissful Hiker podcast episode #53 that takes you through some of my getting-in-shape daily routine.

I’m by no means all there. Dr. Stroemer told me it could be a full year before the swelling goes down in my thighs which explains why absolutely nothing fits me right now! And I still have pins and needles plus numbness from neuropathy likely caused by a bruised nerve when they had to pull my thigh out of the socket. It seems to be going away, but it will take time and does get kind of tight.

All that being said, I am on my way to walking the CDT and things are getting real! I’ve taken over our guest room with gear laid out all over the place, I got my butt kicked in a class called GPS Navigation: Using CalTopo and Gaia GPS Workshop with The Mountaineers in Seattle, and I’m preparing meals, sorting out the ones to send ahead right now and making piles for Richard to send as I progress.

Dr. Stroemer at Summit Orthopedics gives me the thumbs up after two surgeries to replace my completely cartilage-free hips.
I was totally knocked out when they sawed off this part of my femur. Stroemer promised he’d snap a picture because we both think it’s pretty cool to see how our bodies are put together.
My “shakedown”hike on the Superior Hiking Trail to test gear and body parts.

There’s a lot to do, but I try and remember what Broken Toe said, advising to not plan too much and make the step I’m taking right now the priority. That’s not to say you don’t get organized, it’s more about adopting an attitude that not every bit of anything can be planned out. There’s always the possibility that I’m not quite as strong as I used to be and I’ll have to change plans or make adjustments – and then there’s the weather, wildfires…

The good news is the posse I’ll start the hike with are all in agreement that we take things slow to start – mainly because Glacier National Park is so astonishingly beautiful. So maybe, even I, the “Bionic” Blissful Hiker, can keep up with the kids on trail!

Thanks again Summit Orthopedics for your care and support!

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Published by alison young

Alison Young is the Blissful Hiker, a voice artist and sometime saunterer. 📣🐥👣🎒

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