September 9th, 2015

For Gail Dial, a 68-year-old resident of Pocatello, Idaho, a compassionate medical team made the difference for her hip replacement.

In 2011, Gail was having hip pain and knew she needed help. Gail went to see Aaron J. Altenburg, M.D., total joint specialist and orthopedic surgeon at Portneuf Medical Center, and quickly knew she had made the right choice.

“When hip pain made me restrict my movement, I knew nothing else besides a replacement would really work in the long run,” Gail says. “Because of Dr. Altenburg, I didn’t hesitate a bit. He’s very attentive to every detail, and you can ask any question, no matter how dumb it seems, and get a good answer.”


In the fall of 2014, a few years after Gail’s first hip replacement, pain returned but in her other hip. She knew she would consult Dr. Altenburg.

“Dr. Altenburg has a wonderful bedside manner,” Gail says. “Though this was my second surgery, I still felt vulnerable, nervous, and apprehensive—but he does everything to alleviate that and make you feel comfortable. Dr. Altenburg is a breath of fresh air.”

Although the same surgeon, Gail’s second hip replacement was different: Dr. Altenburg performed the surgery using the anterior, or front, approach. “The anterior approach has a lower risk of prosthetic dislocation and, as you don’t cut any muscles, the recovery time is faster,” Dr. Altenberg says. “However, both anterior and posterior, or rear, approaches have excellent long-term outcomes.”

Gail went home two days after her procedure. In two weeks, she was working with a physical therapist at home, and by three weeks after surgery, she was out and about.

“It’s amazing to go from your hip hurting all the time to spending a few days in the hospital, then feeling 100-percent better,” Gail says. “It’s a wonderful blessing to know the Total Joint Center and Dr. Altenburg are here in our town.”

  • Aaron J Altenburg, MD
  • Benjamin Blair, MD
  • Steven L Coker, MD
  • Vermon S Esplin, MD
  • Gregory M Ford, MD
  • Richard A Wathne, MD