Author Topic: BHR and HipHab In Madison, WI - and a new life  (Read 2931 times)

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BHR and HipHab In Madison, WI - and a new life
« on: October 07, 2007, 08:11:31 PM »
My hip story began ten years ago, when I started experiencing pain in my left hip flexor area. This pain came on rather quickly and became intense within just a week or two. The long arduous process of attempting to have this problem diagnosed and properly treated lasted almost a year, with treatments ranging from steroid shots in the muscles at the hip flexor and groin area, to various pain medications (which had the side effects of making me tired or nauseated), physical therapy,  and even to acupuncture. After seeing several physicians at a well-known medical center to no avail, and having one of them imply that this was most likely a psychosomatic issue, I gave up and spent the next nine years managing the pain on my own – knowing that there was something they had missed in their assessment of my pain and its potential causes.

As a workplace health educator and fitness instructor since 1979, I found it very difficult to give up the activities I enjoyed. I loved fitness and had enjoyed 24 years of good health after having had surgery to repair both of my kidneys at age 17. Despite the constant pain and increasing limitations, I continued to teach group exercise classes (while participating as I was able). I also completed a master’s degree and began working on a doctorate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After so many years of pain, it just felt like the pain was part of my identity and a factor that determined what I would be able to do each day. Hiding the pain and pretending to be “normal” was the primary goal every time I left the house.

About three years ago the pain began to worsen, and I sought help from a new physician who indicated that there most likely had been a type of injury and voiced his surprise that no one early on had determined what it was. He then showed me the x-ray of my left hip and I saw the very small space where there should have been cartilage. This doctor then told me about a friend of his who had gone to Belgium to have a new procedure called hip resurfacing and that the physician who cared for patients after they returned home was right there in Madison.

I contacted the young man who had gone to Belgium to have the procedure done by Dr. de Smet, and he told me that there was going to be a gathering of “surface hippies” in Madison soon, and that Dr. John Rogerson would be there to provide updates on the pending FDA approval of the BHR hip resurfacing. We attended that party, and I was amazed at how mobile (and happy!) the people were who had undergone the hip surgery quite recently. Dr. Rogerson was there giving support and encouragement to all of the “hippies” as well as to people like me who were just learning about this procedure.

I will fast-forward this story to May 14, 2007, when I had the BHR hip resurfacing surgery at Meriter Medical Center in Madison, with Dr. Rogerson as the surgeon. A new job (I hesitate to call it a job because it’s an excellent position and a great learning experience) provided insurance coverage, so I was thrilled at finally being able to try to start a new life without this incessant pain.

The night before the surgery, I checked into a cozy apartment at Meriter’s HipHab facility, and must admit to gobbling up all of the treats left there by Dr. Rogerson and his staff (along with a few extras of my own). I did my exer-tubing exercises and stretches because I knew it would be a while before I’d feel like exercising again. The first two days post-surgery were pretty unpleasant, but the care given by the hospital staff, particularly the CNAs, made the experience tolerable.

The morning of the third day was the last time I needed any kind of pain medication, and I was taken back to the HipHab facility for a few days of therapy and rest. The warm water pool was most definitely the best part of the stay! The therapists at HipHab gave each patient personal attention, and were understanding and helpful when it came to individual challenges. Dr. Rogerson also visited each of us in our little apartments, which I found to be very comforting and reassuring. The physician assistants, Joanna and Rene, also contributed their expertise to every stage of the process beginning with my first visit to the clinic. I celebrated my 51st birthday while at HipHab by walking (well…toddling, actually) up to an outdoor restaurant across from the state capitol building with the most important person in my life - my partner Steve, who has been there for me at every stage of this process, and whose constant support has been so valuable to all aspects of my life.

After being discharged and returning home, I found that moving was actually pretty easy if I followed instructions given by Desiree, the therapist at Meriter’s HipHab. I quickly learned that it was not a good idea to stray from those recommendations! The first time I was able to walk up a flight of stairs, one foot at a time, not leaning against the handrail while balancing at a 45 degree angle, I was really excited because this meant progress (I hadn’t been able to navigate stairs normally during the entire ten years of hip pain). It was also great to walk without the limp.

As I write this story, I am almost five months post-surgery. I am now up to a level 6 on the stairclimber, 4 mph on the treadmill, teaching group strength and a traditional aerobics class. Since I am not back to jumping yet, I do the low impact modification which is helpful to newer participants in class anyway. At the next available opportunity, I intend to become certified through the Arthritis Foundation to teach their exercise program for people living with arthritis. Also, I feel that I’ll soon be able to get back to doing occasional yoga and pilates classes, which were not possible given my hip and referred pain in the past. My preferred forms of exercise are higher intensity, but I’m trying to keep in mind that I am 51 years old and need to make some concessions (just a few) in my fitness regimen. But I’m very thrilled to be teaching once again!

As I complete my final semester of coursework toward my PhD and begin preparing for the dissertation, I am so thankful to have had this chance to get my life back again. From that first “surface hippy” party in Madison – after meeting Dr. Rogerson and those who had had the surgery, there was never a doubt that this wouldn’t work for me. The entire process that Dr. Rogerson, his staff, and Meriter Medical Center have developed goes beyond what I expected for a surgical procedure and after-care. I believe they set the standard for this procedure. While walking to my car recently on the way from work, I struck up a conversation with a woman who was just a couple of months post-surgery. She said that Dr. Rogerson and all of his professional staff “walk on water” as far as she was concerned! 

Every day I wake up with energy and cherish the realization that I don’t have to lie there and wonder how intense my hip pain would be, and what I may or may not be able to do as a result. I can now look forward to hiking our hills (we live on 120 acres of wooded land) and doing all of the other activities I had to let go due to the hip arthritis. For anyone contemplating this procedure, I suggest not waiting any longer to have a real life again. While we’re in pain, we forget how limiting it really is and how much energy we have to expend managing it, working around it, hiding it, and dealing with it psychologically. When I see Dr, Rogerson on November 14 for my six-month check-up, I intend to do a few jumping jacks in his office followed by a demonstration of the fact that I have gotten almost all of my flexibility back already! Perhaps we should choreography a “surface hippy cheer” to show how exciting it is to just move freely again…


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Re: BHR and HipHab In Madison, WI - and a new life
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2007, 12:06:31 AM »
Hi Lisa,

I am going to be having Dr. Rodgerson do my hip resurfacing on November 15 th.  Needless to say I am scared to death.  I live in South Dakota so I will meet with everybody in Madison on the 14th of November.  One minute I am all set to go the next minute I want to call and cancel it.  I have talked to a gentleman who just had his done about six weeks ago by Dr. Rodgerson.  He said he is very happy with his progress.  His hip had gotten so bad that he barely could walk anymore.  He is hoping he will be able to run again.    I am 41 and my doctor says my left hip should be in a 70 yr old man.  Although I do walk with a limp, at this point my pain is tollerable most of the time, but my doc also told me I shouldn't wait to long  because the proceedure could be less successful.  The longer I wait the more damage that could be done.  My goal is to be able to run without pain again eventually.  Right now I workout every morining except for Sunday.  I walk-jog-run for 30 minutes.  I can push myself to 8.5 miles per hour for about a minute and a half until I have to back off because of pain.  I guess I am just looking for info on your experience.




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Re: BHR and HipHab In Madison, WI - and a new life
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2007, 11:10:29 PM »
Ray, first, if your hip is this bad, you should consider stopping the impact activity because this just contributes to the pain and wear on the joint. If you take care of yourself now, and get the procedure done as you plan, there's a good chance you'll be running again after six months. I know it seems like a long time to wait, but there's the elliptical trainer, which is an excellent cardio machine, as well as bike, etc. I have been following doctor's orders completely because I don't want to mess anything up by getting back to higher intensity activity too soon. It would not be worth it to me. So, no impact like jumping for me until November 14.

I was really impressed with the surgery and the after-care I got from Dr. Rogerson and his team. I believe he has done the most BHR procedures in the U.S. to date. While I can understand anyone being scared about having this done, I would be more scared about living an entire life with the pain just getting worse and then having the restrictions on a THR beecause of waiting too long. The HipHab apartment is great, and you will be so glad you chose to go there!

At 41, you could have a whole new hip and a new opportunity to be active and pain-free. If I could have had it done sooner, I would certainly have done so. I think of all the years I lost to living in pain (10 total). This is your time to go and get renewed. Good luck - I'm sure it will go well. You might be hesitant now, but you'll feel much better about it once you get there and check in!


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Re: BHR and HipHab In Madison, WI - and a new life
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2007, 10:45:53 AM »
What Lisa said about Dr. Rogerson is absolutly true. 

I am 1 wk. post op, came home on Sun.  I have been on one crutch per Desiree since 4 days Post Op.

I'm so thankful to have found their website in Sept.

Desiree had me start on an eliptical bike yesterday, 5 min.  There was no pain, muscles were sore in the evening, but that is to be expected.

To the S.Dakota hippie, good luck & you'll get the best care around.


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Re: BHR and HipHab In Madison, WI - and a new life
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2007, 06:04:52 PM »
Hi Lori

I read so many posts and emails that I sometimes get mixed up.

I wanted to congratulate you on becoming a surface hippy!  I can't remember you posting since your surgery, but my mind gets fuzzy.

I want to wish you a quick and easy recovery.  Sounds like you are on your way already.

Please keep in touch.  If you have time, could you write a little more about your experience?  Post it under your own new topic on the Hip Stories.  I can also post it on the blogs and link it from my Hip Stories pages. I have 2 other Dr. Rogerson stories and am happy to add more.  I think a lot of people like him and he will become one of the more experienced surgeons in the US.

Good Luck.


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3/15/06 LBHR De Smet


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Re: BHR and HipHab In Madison, WI - and a new life
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2008, 10:20:06 PM »
Long time since this first message was posted. To clarify: John Rogerson IS one of the most experienced surgeons in the US for hip resurfacing! He was one of the first to begin doing this procedure in the US., and had previously gone to Belgium to meet and work with Dr. DeSmet.

Anyway, my one-year appointment is on May 14. I am about 90% back to my regular activities as a fitness instructor. I'm thinking that the other 10% may be age-related and that I should give up on trying to get back to that high intensity I love so much! But overall, this procedure has been just wonderful - I have had no problems or complications of any kind after the surgery. I hope others will have the same good fortune as I have and get through this without a problem.



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