Rick Draper – Dr. Brooks LEFT side BHR, Dec. 21, 2009
I was about 48 years old when I knew my basketball days were over, having felt that awful feeling of bone on bone and limping back to work. I had been playing ball regularly at lunchtime as a staff member at a major university for almost twenty years.
My first encounter with a doctor was before BHRs were being done in the USA, I’m pretty sure. They certainly suggested I wait as long as possible and that I’d know when that time was. As my pain got worse and my limp worsened, I adjusted. I had already pretty much given up on basketball, but soon golf was out, too. My mediocre game got worse when my subtle unintended adjustments to avoid pain turned me into a "hooker".
Eventually, just to walk in an amusement park was two Alleve tablets before and one afterwards.
In the fall of 2009 after researching the progress with hip resurfacing my wife and I met with Dr. Brooks and PA Phil Golnick. My wife is an x-ray technician and she could not believe that last set of x-rays. When my actual joint "space" looked more like a good marbled steak, she couldn’t believe that I wasn’t in more pain than I was. The alternatives were explained, but I already knew what I wanted and that beautiful spinning top in front of me when Dr. Brooks demonstrated the BHR implant was the final confirmation. When they showed me how backed up they were on surgery slots, I eagerly grabbed the Dec 21 (2009) slot that was open, knowing that Christmas wouldn’t be quite the same. But I also has a trip to the Caribbean scheduled for later that six weeks later, so I took the first slot I could get.
That date is interesting again-
I won’t dwell on many details, since there are many on this site. I will say that my therapy was 100% what I was told to do at home. I bought a recumbent bicycle for riding in the family room, and took my one year off (from impact sports). After that, I worked to get back into basketball, but mostly rode a bicycle. I had gained a fair amount of weight from the years of slowing down and not being careful to cut back on the 12 ounce curls, etc., so getting back on the court was going to take a while, especially at age 54+.
I will say that I did get back to pretty good basketball form in late 2011 and early 2012, running the short full court with a few people my age, but mostly those a decade or two younger. It took me longer than I thought, but basically a year after Phil turned me loose to get on with impact sports, I had done enough sports "rehab", re-stretching Achilles, hamstrings, etc. and losing some weight, that I was playing really well. In fact, so well, that in early November 2012, when I really started being more of a factor in the outcome of the games, the young guys started feeling pressured to be more aggressive in their coverage of this old-timer.
I had made numerous three-pointers that day when it happened. I blow from a fella’s knee from my left side ripped the ACL clean off. I walked back to work knowing that is was likely severed completely, and believe it or not, had ACL reconstruction from my hamstring on Dec. 21, 2012 – three years to the day of the hip replacement.
When I had a follow-up (HIP) visit with Phil Golnick the next month, I asked him if he had many HIP patients with torn ACLs, and he chuckled a bit. I was still in a brace walking into the office. I think we both knew that this new setback was something that I’d overcome. I was still just as pleased and appreciative of the hip as the day I got it.
I’ve only had a couple times where I’ve squeaked. Certainly very disconcerting, but fortunately it appears that it was when I was pretty dehydrated. I also think that my lessened mobility of another injury was a factor, since both occurrences were since I was injured.
As of June, 2014, I am on the road back to full activity, including I believe basketball within the next six or eight weeks – no reason to push it. I’ll be 57 shortly and my BHR will be 4 years old by Christmas. I have no concerns whatsoever that this will last me a long time and enable me to do whatever the rest of my body allows!
Dr. Brooks and Phil Golnick have been great and I have never hesitated to recommend them and the BHR. I’m not a super athlete, just an old fart that always has had a love for the game, chasing the dog down the beach, and still hope to do some backpacking with my sons. They made it possible.