It was a milestone year for the Orthopedics Department at Kirby Medical
Center, when Dr. Jacob Sams performed Kirby’s first-ever hip replacement
on Krista “Kris” Butler.
Under the leadership of Dr. Sams and his fellow orthopedic surgeon, Dr.
Donald Sullivan, Kirby had recently developed an orthopedic joint replacement
clinic and practice, which provides support and treatment for patients
seeking joint pain relief.
The timing couldn’t have been better for Kris, as she was in tremendous
pain. Due to a degenerative disease, her hip was severely compromised,
with the ball of the joint almost completely worn away.
“I’m pretty healthy and don’t go to the doctor often,”
Kris explains. “I’ve had chronic hip pain for a long time,
but it’s been nothing critical until last year. I thought I had
just pulled a muscle. Turns out half of the ball of my hip was halfway
gone in September of 2017. Three months later at surgery, it was totally
With Kris’s condition, it was crucial she receive treatment as soon
as possible. She was initially treated by another local specialist, but
when she found out the wait time for surgery was six months, Kris turned
to Kirby for care.
Kris was already familiar with Kirby, by having lived in Monticello for
nearly 30 years until she moved to Dewitt County for her husband’s
job in 1999.
“The doctors and nurses at Kirby were great.” Kris says. “Everyone
went the extra mile and treated me like family. They took time to go over
what each person [on the team] was responsible for. I felt that each person
made me a priority and truly cared.”
One month after surgery, Kris is feeling better and walking 35 minutes
a day. She explains, “Before surgery, I only got up to go to the
bathroom. I couldn’t walk more than that because of the pain. Now,
I’m looking forward to spring. My goal is to be in my garden full
And if she ever needs another orthopedic surgery? Kris says, “I’ll
definitely be coming to Kirby!”