a 49 year old adult male that was suffering from Osteoarthritis in my left hip.
I had subluxed my hip in an accident in 1995 and had experienced sporadic hip
pain since then. I always lead an active lifestyle but did not compete
athletically until later in life.
I turned 40 I decided to attempt my first marathon during my mid-life crisis. I
now consider myself an athlete and have competed in 15 marathon/Ultra running
races, 5 full Ironman races including Ironman Hawaii in Kona. I also enjoy
backcountry snow skiing, off-road motorcycle riding, big game hunting and
maintaining a very active lifestyle. In July of 2007 while on a run, the hip
pain increased to the point that it was unbearable and I was forced to quit and
walk home. I was able to continue to bike and swim without serious discomfort
but running was out. I experimented with a cortisone shot in my hip in October
of 2007 and received considerable relief. This shot had me feeling like I was a
kid again and I was almost tempted to resume running. Alas it was short-lived
and by the first of the year, activities including downhill skiing were pretty
painful. I was unable to sleep through the night and was waking numerous times
in considerable pain.
tried strengthening the area around the hip by consistent working out and
conditioning. I worked on isolation weight training, stair masters, stationary
biking and stretching while trying to regain some of my loss of strength and
range of motion on my left side. I also was cycling outside for 3-4 hours a
couple of times a week but skiing was painful and I experienced considerable
weakness on my left side. This work did give me some improvement but the night
pain did not decrease and everyday walking was painful.
was aware of a procedure known as “resurfacing” but it was not until I
discovered the “Surface Hippy” web site that I really started educating myself.
I was hoping that the other methods of relief would work, but when the reality
set in that they were not very successful I started doing extensive on-line
research. As a result of my intensive research, I now consider myself a very
Through the Surface Hippy web site I discovered that I was not alone with my
problems. I found there were other triathletes that had hip issues and so I
contacted fellow Ironman competitors Cory Foulk and Fred Hornbruch. Both were
very helpful and encouraged me to give this procedure serious consideration.
They suggested a few doctors to contact and told me to keep searching until I
found one that understood what my goals and expectations were.
employment background is in alloy manufacturing. I have extensive knowledge
about the manufacturing requirements of high alloys and this knowledge allowed
me to research the differences in the different prosthesis’ manufacturing
processes and their quality control tolerances. I did considerable research on
failed products and the differences between the successful products and the
failed units. I concluded that for my expectations, the BHR from Smith and
Nephew was the best match.
Next, I started searching for the “right” doctor. My Orthopedist in Portland was
not experienced in resurfacing. This freed me from geographic bounds so I
started searching nationwide. My insurance would cover this expense so I did not
feel compelled to travel outside the U.S. If my insurance was not going to cover
this procedure, I was prepared to travel overseas. My criteria limited my search
to doctors who had performed a large number of resurfacing procedures. The
Surface Hippy web site gave me the information to narrow my search to the
doctors that had this level of expertise. My search criteria also required a
doctor that had experience working with athletes. I contacted several doctors
and narrowed my list of possible surgeons, one of whom was Dr. Keith Ure. After
discussing my situation with Dr. Ure on the phone, I made an appointment to
wife and I drove to Mt. Shasta from Oregon and meet with Dr. Ure. He had
reviewed the x-rays that I had submitted to him prior to my appointment. We
discussed my goals and Dr. Ure answered all of our questions thoroughly. He was
encouraging that I would get my lifestyle back but was clear that there are
never any guarantees with surgery. I understood what he was telling me and
scheduled the surgery with his surgical coordinator, Denise.
was concerned about the small size of the hospital. I discussed my concerns with
Dr. Ure and he explained what he likes about this hospital and Mt. Shasta. He
could be located anywhere but chose to practice here. His answers satisfied my
concerns completely. The hospital staff recognizes that as patients, we can go
anywhere to have this procedure performed and they work hard at making sure we
are satisfied. All of the nurses that I worked with know Dr. Ure’s protocol
inside and out. I had excellent care; they understand pain control and getting
you back on your feet and working ASAP. The occupational therapist and PT’s were
all very good at this process. They do several hip resurfacing procedures a week
and are very well educated in the requirements.
checked in to the Hospital on Wednesday morning for a 7 AM surgery. The pain
level post surgery was not as severe as I had anticipated and I was up and
walking with the aid of a walker early the next day. By the end of the second
day I was walking laps around the hospital with crutches and the pain level had
stabilized. Since I was recovering so quickly they discharged me and I was out
of the hospital early on Friday afternoon.
rented a Chalet at the Mt. Shasta Resort for my wife to stay in while I was in
the hospital and it was great. It had a kitchen and was very spacious and
comfortable. After I was discharged from the hospital I moved into the chalet
for two more days post surgery before making the 6-hour drive home. We left on
Sunday stopping every couple hours to walk and stretch.
think staying active and maximizing my fitness before this procedure was
critical. Swimming and lifting weights to keep my upper body strong helped me
tremendously when moving around post surgery. Dr. Ure told me I could ride a
stationary bike at 2 weeks and walk as much as my body would allow. I worked
very hard on minimizing my limping and did most of my walking on the local
running track. I felt that soft surfaces without trip hazards were important and
I could accurately monitor my distance. I could also tune in the iPod and keep
the pace up, timing each lap without worrying about traffic or getting too far
away from the car if I had discomfort. I worked up to 3.5 miles on the track by
week 4 and was riding the stationary bike frequently. I started swimming when my
incision was healed at four weeks. The wound dressing was covered with a
Tegraderm patch (saran wrap with adhesive that is water proof) so I could shower
daily. Sleeping was tough initially but by 4 weeks I was sleeping through the
night. At this time I also felt I was progressing well enough that I could ride
my bicycle outside. This gave my mental attitude a huge improvement.
weeks we went back to Mt. Shasta and Dr. Ure took another x-ray and declared
that at this time my resurfacing is just as we wanted. Dr. Ure was very happy
with how well I was walking and the fact that I was close to limp free. At this
time he released me for all activities except impact (i.e. no running). He
cautioned me that it will still be several weeks before I am completely healed
and to be responsible.
at 10 weeks post surgery I have water skied and I am riding my bike 5 times a
week (200miles with extensive climbing). I am also working on balance exercises,
isolation weight training, stretching and range of motion exercises.
is a major surgery and should not to be entered into lightly. I am fortunate
that my results are so positive and I know that others might not have the same
timeline that I have, but I think that if someone is willing to work very hard
at the recovery, they will be satisfied with the results. I also want to
reiterate that I firmly believe being in good physical condition and mentally
prepared is critical to the procedure, post-op healing and subsequent progress.