I would like to describe my experience having a hip resurfacing surgery performed by Dr. Schemitsch, at St. Michael Hospital in Toronto. I am a 51 year old male. I have been very active all my life, involved with various martial arts and other fitness activities. In the summer of 2007, I started feeling discomfort in my left hip and I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. The discomfort soon became pain and loss of mobility. In 2011 I was referred to Dr. Schemitsch. At my first visit and the subsequent ones, he told me that I was a good candidate for a hip resurfacing surgery, but he also tried to make me postpone it as much as possible, as I was still functional and surgery implies certain risks. To me, that was something that I appreciated a lot: not pushing me into the surgery, but being very clear about the dangers and about why I should postpone it as much as I could. In September 2014 I decided I wanted to have the surgery. Dr. Schemitsch was very professional and made it very clear about what to expect, not trying to sugarcoat the facts. He mentioned that in order to perform a hip resurfacing surgery, certain conditions must be met, which can be known only during the surgery. If those conditions are not met, then a full hip replacement will be performed. I was a bit nervous about that. My family doctor reassured me that Dr. Schemitsch is the best surgeon to perform hip resurfacing and realistically, I should not be worried about the outcome. I was told that the waiting time to have the hip resurfacing surgery with Dr. Schemitsch is about 9 months. I thought that it was acceptable, considering that he is in such demand.
I did receive a letter from him in which he apologized for the wait, which made it somewhat more tolerable, knowing that I am on the list and it will happen soon. I was scheduled for May 19, 2015. The preparation for the surgery was very well done. I was explained what to expect before and after. I had a lot of information to process, but I felt confident and optimistic, as I had all the knowledge I needed. Finally, I had the surgery and my first question when I woke up in the IC room was: “Did I have a hip resurfacing?” The answer the nurse gave me was “Yes. And it was textbook perfect!” And I thought that my family doctor was right: nothing to worry about when Dr. Schemitsch is the surgeon.
I was extremely grateful that it was a success. I spent two nights in the hospital. Dr. Schemitsch came to see me several times during my stay. He answered any questions I had. When he came to see me the first and the second time, my wife had just left, so he missed her. He wanted to meet her and let her know how the surgery went and what to expect. He made an effort to come again the next day, twice, to meet her. I thought that was above and beyond his duty and I was very impressed by that. Before being discharged, I went through training about how to use the crutches and how to function normally at home. After I was discharged, I had no pain and no need at all for pain medication. The recovery was perfect, just like I was told the surgery went.
I started physiotherapy after two weeks and it went very well. My house is on three levels, so there was a lot of up and down the stairs. Dr. Schemitsch is very specific on not allowing weight bearing on the operated leg at all during the first 6 weeks. I did my best, trying always to put no more than “light touch”. Throughout, there was still no pain or discomfort. At my 6 week follow-up, I was again told that the implant looks perfect and that I would no longer need crutches. I was also told that I could start going to the gym and using the elliptical machine and any exercises I would like to, with some precautions such as no bending over 90 degrees as well as no impact. Although not all surgeons recommend no weight bearing, I wonder if my fantastic recovery might be because of that. It was inconvenient for 6 weeks, but I am thrilled where I am now. It pays off in a long run. I don’t know how it would be otherwise, It all went perfectly.
My hip is strong, I have mobility, better than I have had in a very long time. No pain. I continue to do elliptical and stationary bike exercises, which use with 3/4 of the maximum resistance. I have had days when I have walked more than 10 km, without pain. I feel that my quality of life improved a lot. Tomorrow I am going to see Dr. Schemitsch for the 3 months post-op check up. I am very optimistic and I feel great. I feel that to this point, I am a success story and I wanted to share this. It is all due to Dr. Schemitsch, who, based on my personal experience, is a top expert. After the surgery and at my 6 weeks check-up, the word was “perfect”. I had no pain at all. “Perfect”. I have strength and flexibility in the operated hip. “Perfect”. In conclusion, if you need a hip resurfacing surgery and you’ve been referred to Dr. Schemitsch, you are lucky. He is a top expert.