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Active Local Woman Gets Moving Again With New Hip

Active Local Woman Gets Moving Again With New Hip

An Inspiration to Joint Replacement Candidates and Everyone Else

To say 68-year-old South Bay Area resident Karen Barrett is active is an understatement. She is an avid hiker, cyclist, and golfer; works out five days a week; and stretches out first thing in the morning, “every day of the year.” When Karen began experiencing hip pain then found out she needed a hip replacement, she went about it as she does everything else: with a smart game plan and disciplined approach.

In the beginning she thought it was a groin pull, but after seeing her primary physician, a sports medicine doctor, physical therapist, and massage therapist, Karen’s pain and limp persisted no matter what she tried. When Karen got the news that she needed a hip replacement, she was surprised at first because she never actually injured her hip—the pain just showed up. However she’d had her knee replaced four years prior, and four of her eight siblings, most of whom are also athletes, also had hip replacements. She began to realize that because of genetics, her body was not able to keep up with her physical lifestyle.

When things don’t go the way Karen plans, she overcomes. Because he had previously performed her knee replacement surgery, Karen turned to Dr. Alexander Sah for a consult. Dr. Sah’s schedule was full, which meant she’d have to endure the 24/7 pain for an extra month. That’s when she met his colleague, Bryant Bonner, MD, at Washington Hospital’s Institute for Joint Research and Restoration (IJRR). After a long conversation where Dr. Bonner described his background and answered all Karen’s questions, she developed trust in him and was pleased to have him perform her surgery.

Originally from Sacramento, Dr. Bonner is board certified and was educated at Harvard Medical School. A specialist in minimally invasive hip and knee procedures, he joined the IJRR in September 2021 because of its impressive reputation and focus on continually improving patient outcomes. Dr. Bonner enjoys developing long-lasting relationships with his patients and helping them return to a fulfilling, active lifestyle.

Karen’s procedure went well. “Dr. Bonner closely monitored my condition and was there to check up on me in recovery,” she recalls. “The whole team was wonderful and made me feel like their only patient. I can’t say enough about how Dr. Bonner and everyone on the team is top notch and truly cares for you.”

It helped that Karen was in good physical shape before the surgery, and she was an optimal patient who diligently followed the postop instructions in the informational binder provided by Dr. Bonner’s office. She recovered well, except for a minor strain in the area six months later that she worked through with physical therapy.

Though she and her husband Bill do not have children of their own, Karen worked in education for 30 years. Before retiring she was a teacher, principal, then school district administrator who led the effort to get full-time physical education (PE) teachers hired in Cupertino elementary schools when PE was not mandatory. Karen, who ran track in high school and college, believes a strong body is as important as a strong mind and she wanted to instill that in the children within her school district.

“I believe in taking care of your body and if something hurts, find out what’s wrong and do what it takes to get better,” she advises others. “People should not be afraid of having surgery to maintain their quality of life. I have referred several friends to the Washington Hospital IJRR. At this point, half of my lower body is mechanical, and if I need to get the other side done, I know exactly where I will go.”

For more information about Dr. Bonner or Washington Hospital’s Institute for Joint Restoration and Research, go to