Debbie’s Story: County Commissioner Says ‘Don’t Wait’ to Seek Treatment

Debbie Lieberman Patient Story_0251Debbie Lieberman is always on the go. As the Montgomery County Commission president, she manages the county’s budget and economic development and also focuses on topics dear to her heart, including infant mortality, preschool promise, and reentry and criminal justice reform.

“Every day is different,” says Debbie. “I have the opportunity to focus on issues that affect our community. That’s the beauty of being a commissioner.”

Debbie and her husband Dennis have two sons.

“Our youngest is living in Alaska, and our oldest son, David, is living here,” explains Debbie.

She enjoys traveling to the Last Frontier state, but as she experienced chronic pain in her leg, simple tasks like sitting down or climbing the stairs at the county building in Downtown Dayton began to slow her down.

“For about three years, I had a lot of knee pain,” explains Debbie. “After the recommendation from several friends, I visited the doctor to see why I was experiencing so much discomfort.”

Finding the Problem

Debbie visited Dennis M. Brown, MD, an orthopedist at Premier Orthopedics at Miami Valley Hospital South in Centerville.

“She had dysplasia of the hip, meaning she was born with hips that were not perfectly round or perfectly seated, and over time that can cause wear and tear of the cartilage, which wears down and eventually brings pain that's associated,” explained Dr. Brown.

In November 2019, Debbie had her first hip replacement with Dr. Brown at Miami Valley Hospital South. Advised by Dr. Brown that she would need her other hip replaced in the near future, she waited just a few months before deciding it was time to go through with the second procedure.

“Within a couple of months, I began feeling pain in my other hip,” Debbie says. “I talked with my family and decided that doing it during COVID was not a bad idea.”

Movement and Motivation

Debbie says she followed through with her hip surgery in the spring of 2020 because she was working from home due to the COVID-19 Ohio Stay at Home order. She says she felt she could rest and complete her physical therapy in the comforts of her Clayton home.

“Having the physical therapist come to the house was really helpful, both times” she says.

One week after her hip surgery, and with the help of physical therapy, Lieberman was no longer relying on a walker, using a cane to help with balance.Debbie Lieberman Patient Story_web1

“The key is, we want to get people up and mobilized as soon as possible. The day of surgery, we have them up and walking, standing, being assisted to the bathroom, learning to walk in the halls, being able to negotiate steps and stairs,” says Dr. Brown.

“It’ll be so nice to be able to get outside a little bit more, walk the dogs, do the bike path that I love to do,” Debbie says. “Those kinds of things that I just had so much pain, I couldn’t do it.”

“Debbie was an excellent patient because she’s motivated, she’s driven, she did her research before she ever came in.” explains Dr. Brown. “Once she had her surgery, she made up her mind that she was going to be independent, ambulatory, and get back to all of her pre-surgical activities.”

Debbie is looking forward to returning to Alaska, now that she’s able to walk without constant pain. Her advice to those struggling with their mobility – don’t wait.

“It really affects your quality of life, but also, that constant pain, you don’t even really realize that. Do it. Do it. That’s what I recommend. Get it done.”