Back to playing Hockey after Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Pritchett
I was 48 when I received the very surprising diagnosis of arthritis in my left hip. My pain wasn’t that bad at the time so I really didn’t think it was as bad as they said. The first words I heard after my initial X-Ray were “You need a Total Hip Replacement! I was stunned. I thought I had a strained tendon or a torn labrum, arthritis wasn’t even on my radar. One Dr. rated the damage an 8 out of 10! I was in denial and didn’t want to believe it.
After this initial visit I spent about a year going to different surgeons and doing research looking for something other than a Total Hip Replacement. I knew there had to be something more suited to my age and lifestyle. I was in pretty good shape for my age and was playing ice hockey 2-3 days a week as well as cycling and snow skiing in the winter.
As the pain got worse I knew I had to get it replaced. I visited 3 surgeons, one told me “there isn’t any resurfacing for hips”. Another said he “could do a resurfacing” but I didn’t feel like I should be convincing a surgeon to perform a procedure. The other surgeon wasn’t comfortable with resurfacing. All 3 tried to convince me a THR was equivalent to a resurfacing. I had done enough research to know the difference in younger, highly active patients. I went back to the internet to expand my search of surgeons.
As others in my situation were, I was scared and confused on what to do about my hip. The surfacehippy website is how I found Dr. Pritchett. My experience with him and his staff was as fantastic as others describe. He called me back personally and discussed the resurfacing procedure. Other Dr’s. had me meet with their assistant, not the actual surgeon, which was disappointing.
After our initial call I went to Seattle and met with Dr. Pritchett personally to make my final decision. One of my key questions for him was “when did you last perform a Hip Resurfacing?” His answer was “I performed 2 this morning”. He has over 4000 total. He is a Hip Resurfacing specialist and he has a passion for it. After meeting him I couldn’t wait to have the procedure, his experience and knowledge is truly top notch.
Hotels in the area even gave significant discounts for medical stays, which convinced me even more I wasn’t alone in traveling for a surgery. We booked the date for surgery and I began researching the surgical procedure and expected recovery.
Dr. Pritchett has an actual HR surgery on YouTube, I watched it about 4 or 5 times. I also viewed tons of HR recovery videos and knew exactly what to expect from before the surgery up to 3 months post op. This research really helped relieve my stress, I highly recommend anyone nervous about surgery to look up recovery videos. It’s amazing how similar my results were to these other people from around the world.
My surgery was in Feb of 2018 at Swedish Hospital. As is common for Dr. Pritchett, I only stayed in the hospital about 12 hours and was back in our hotel room the day of surgery. I only took prescription pain meds for a few days and flew home on day 4 post-op. Everything went as planned and it was much easier than I had feared. The 10 day follow up was smooth and I went home to fully recover.
Physical Therapy was great, I improved quite a bit from week to week. The therapists were very impressed with my recovery and I gave the credit to Dr. Pritchett. I firmly believe a highly experienced surgeon is the most important thing. I did exercise the hip every day for the first 5 months or so, using bands or steps or whatever the PT had me work on, I was very vigilant about strengthening that left hip. It made a difference for sure.
At 6 months, I’m playing Ice Hockey again with my 14 year old and the hip is nearly perfect. Its already better than I expected it could be, and I had high expectations! Still improving every day.
I am grateful to the surfacehippy website for educating me about HR and leading me to Dr. Pritchett.
I will never be able to thank Dr. Pritchett enough for giving me my life back.