Crystal Walker sitting outside in front of a field and smiling toward the camera

VIDEO: New hip has Dallas therapist feeling good, ‘like James Brown!’

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Crystal Walker has gone from needing a wheelchair to breezily riding around her North Dallas neighborhood on her bike after hip replacement surgery at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

“I’m able to do a lot of things that I couldn’t do just a few months ago,” says the 65-year-old licensed therapist, whose kidney issues contributed to a loss in bone density. “Last year, basically I was in a wheelchair and that was it. There was no doing anything other than sitting on the porch or sitting at my desk.”

Getting her hip replaced was a life-altering change that Crystal attributes to the efforts of a team led by Mo Halawi, MD, medical director of the total joint replacement program at Methodist Dallas.

“Without that expertise, I don’t think I would be walking,” she says. “I had really good care at Methodist Dallas. They cared for me. That’s the best thing you can ask anybody to do.”


Crystal has long struggled with health problems, including a battle with kidney disease that required her to get a transplant 30 years ago. But two years ago, her mobility issues took a rapid turn for the worse.

“I couldn’t even get off the toilet seat by myself,” she recalls. “I couldn’t even take a bath by myself.”

It was a difficult time for Crystal, who runs her own private counseling practice and is the matriarch of four adult children and eight grandkids. Finally, at her son’s prompting, she made an appointment with Dr. Halawi, who diagnosed her with avascular necrosis. The condition disrupts blood supply to the hip, triggering arthritis and causing the joint to collapse.

“It’s a complication often associated with patients like Crystal who have a history of chronic steroid therapy,” he says.

Another complication that Dr. Halawi had to consider before surgery was Crystal’s osteopenia, a weakness in the bones.

“I am a firm believer that the success of surgery hinges on the ability of the surgeon to look at the patient as a whole — what sort of risks that patient is bringing to me, and how I can factor those risks into the surgical plan,” Dr. Halawi says. “That’s when you can optimize outcomes and really ensure the best results possible.”

A photo of Crystal Walker wearing white and smiling for the camera, next to a photo of her standing and posing on a bicycle


A couple of weeks before Christmas in 2023, Crystal checked into Methodist Dallas for surgery. Dr. Halawi removed damaged bone tissue and reinforced the joints in her hip with titanium ball-and-socket implants.

“Dr. Halawi came and talked to me,” she says, “and he said everything went as planned. Everything was good.”

Back home, Crystal spent the holidays and following weeks regaining her strength. When she went to see Dr. Halawi for a follow-up visit two weeks later, the change was already noticeable.

“She made a comment that her daughter was happy to have her mom back because unfortunately, Crystal was dealing with so much pain and was in a wheelchair for quite some time that her family couldn’t really enjoy that time with her,” Dr. Halawi recalls. “To be able to witness that tremendous transformation in Crystal’s spirit, the joy, the fun, the ability to go back to what she enjoyed doing — to me, that was the best reward that I can ask for.”

Not one to take her new mobility for granted, Crystal started biking, dancing, and doing Pilates again — things she thought were lost to her. She remembers one particular afternoon when she was at home listening to music.

“A song came on, and I started dancing. I was like, ‘Yeah, the hip is back.’ I just immediately did it without thinking,” she says, laughing. “But now I’m like James Brown. I’m back!”