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Let’s Move Quad Cities: Local Woman’s New Hips Lead To New Life

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It's a resolution that a lot of people have, but many can't keep. However, Vicki Nelson's story may be the extra push you need.

A couple of years ago, Vicki would have never been at the Scott County Y working out with a personal trainer. Yet that's where we find her, sweating and chanting:

"No strain, no gain. No burn, no earn."

The 59-year-old retiree is living a different life after two hip replacements. Since her procedures, she has lost 100 pounds.

"It's just great. Life has taken a total 180," Vicki said.

Life before was painful, to say the least.

"It was just like a real sharp pain, like somebody sticking a knife in your joint," laughed Vicki.

Vicki had to use a handicapped parking spot at work, and walk with a cane. Soon, the vicious cycle started:

"If you can't exercise, you can't lose the weight," explained Vicki.

And if you can't lose the weight, you're putting it on your joints.

According to a 2014 study by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Osteoarthritis is frequently associated with obesity.

It's a thought shared by Dr. Matt Lindaman with ORA Orthopedics.

"It becomes a cycle of severe pain, limitations, and then their overall health condition diminishes as a result of that, so joint replacement is a very powerful tool, a very powerful way that we can suddenly change that condition," Dr. Lindaman said.

And change he did.

Vicki's recovery was quick, thanks in part to advancement in total joint replacements.

"We're changing a part of the body and we're changing it not to what was given to us naturally, but something different and fortunately we can do it in such a way that the patient can be very active and feel very normal about that," described Dr. Lindaman. "They can go from something that's horrible to something that's very, very postive for them."

That positive outcome is helping Vicki inspire others.

"If you have dreams, do whatever you can to make them happen," added Vicki. "Life is pretty short and I had a really hard year, but don't put it off. If you can do something about it today and you can, if you can take a little tiny step, just move forward."

Vicki wants to lose more and do more in 2015. She's turned 60 in January, is going horseback riding in Arizona, and is even planning a trip to Europe. For her, new hips have led to a new life.

"You take it one day at a time. If you fall down, you pick yourself back up again," Vicki said, "Just don't stop."

*Let’s Move QC is a monthly segment on WQAD. It’s all about being the best version of you by introducing viewers to real people in the Quad Cities who are doing just that, with a little extra help from the surgeons at ORA Orthopedics. The stories air every month (usually the last Monday of the month) during News 8 at 5 p.m.