Author Topic: My experience with Dr Raterman - Tampa, FL  (Read 9544 times)

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My experience with Dr Raterman - Tampa, FL
« on: June 20, 2013, 05:26:03 PM »
I had Dr. Stephen Raterman in Tampa, Florida as my surgeon about 8 weeks ago. When I checked this site before surgery, I didn't see any good (no offense intended if I missed it) info on him, so now that I'm 2 months out & feeling pretty great, I think it's time for me to post my opinion here.

First, I just give me quick opinion:
I highly recommend Dr Raterman for hip resurfacing surgery.

Now, I'll give more detain & explain my opinion so that anyone looking here or searching for answers will at least have this to work with. I found that the Doc & his staff were very professional. The only real criticism that I have is that they could have improved their communications to us patients. In my opinion they didn't tell me far enough in advance what days & times my appointments were going to be before my surgery. That said, they do a LOT of surgeries so that's most likely the reason.

Let me explain that a bit. They scheduled my surgery 2 months in advance. I talked with Dr Raterman in February & confirmed that I needed & wanted surgery, then they booked my actual surgery date for April. As I said, they do a LOT of surgeries. They called me & sent me a package that was meant to fully explain what I was in for, but I found that it was a bit vague in some respects. It did have a great deal of info to cover though, so all in all I'd give that package an 8 out of 10. 

They book 3 pre-op appointments:
1) One with my GP
2) One with the hospital
3) One with Dr Raterman.

I only had a choice on the apt with my GP, the other 2 were made for me.

The apt with the hospital took almost 6 hours, so be prepared. They told me to be prepared for about a 4 hour appointment though, so they were close. Dr Raterman uses Florida Hospital. I found them to also be excellent & I highly recommend them as well. Of all the people I encountered in my time at the appointment (at least 30 people), I only had 1 person who wasn't very helpful.

Of all of the people I had during my stay for my operation, I only had 1 person out of at least 30 who didn't seem to like her job. The VAST majority of people were ABSOLUTELY GREAT.

During my pre--op appointment with Dr Raterman, he asked me if I waned a morning or afternoon surgery, although he said he was not able to promise me he could do it, he did give me what I asked for. A morning operation.

Dr Raterman also has several 'support personnel' (so to speak), that do not actually work FOR him, but work with him. There was the "Don Joy" guy that sells the ICEMAN. An ice water circulation system that I HIGHLY recommend. The system is very reasonably priced & provides an ice water system that is far superior to ice packs for post surgery swelling. The ICEMAN guy also provides a walker & a cane for post surgery. Those two things were covered by our insurance, but the ICEMAN was not. That's why we had to purchase it.

They also have a team of Physical Therapy people that work with them. I had the PT folks come to my home for 3 weeks after surgery, then I went to an out patient PT place. My PT guy, Ken, at the out patient place was GREAT.

The doc also has a company that called & delivered a "bedside commode", with arms, several days before surgery. That was nice, because I was able to set it up the way I needed it to be & got it ready.

The night before surgery the hospital calls to tell you when to report for surgery. I was given a morning surgery, just as I asked for. The day of my surgery, I got there early & signed in & only waited a short time to be sent off to get changed & ready for surgery. I had a great nurse, who was helpful & friendly. The Doc & his assistant came in to see me & check on me.

My wife was able to come in & stay with me for a while until they came to get me for surgery. That was very nice. They came to get me for surgery in less than 1 hour & of course, I don't remember much after that until I woke up in my room. One of the best things about Florida Hospital is that each hip resurfacing patient gets their own room.

My surgery went very well. I must say that Dr Raterman is VERY skilled at what he does. He's a great surgeon. The perfect combination of artist & doctor. I've seen the X-Ray of my hip & it was done perfectly. Actually hip resurfacing looks more like carpentry than surgery. Do some searches on the web & you'll find some pictures of what it looks like. I've also included my X-Ray. It was done with my pants on, so there's a zipper in the shot. I don't actually have a zipper. It's my pants.... REALLY!

I was told that if I could get up from my bed & make it to the chair in my room (5 feet away) by the end of the day I could go for a walk the next day. At 11PM that night, I got up (with my nurse's help) & made it to the chair. I was going to go for a walk (with my walker) that night, but when I got to the doorway, it was WAY too cold & I had to go back & lay down. I laid down & actually went to sleep for about 4 hours. THAT was great.

The next day, the hospital PT people came & got me & said if I could walk (with my walker) with the PT guy around the hospital floor, 250 feet, I would be able to go home that day. I was able to do my 250 feet & I went up one flight of stairs & came back down. They were quite happy with me & I was quite happy to get out of the hospital after one night.

The only other thing to mention was pain meds. Normally that is controlled by Dr Raterman's office, but I was already under the care of another pain management doctor for my back, so my meds were handled by the other doctor. 

Pat Walter

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Re: My experience with Dr Raterman - Tampa, FL
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2013, 09:42:13 PM »
Hi Hipster

Thanks so much for posting your story.  The personal stories are so helpful to perspective patients.

I am glad you are doing well.

I have quite a few Dr. Raterman stories posted



Also chat info 


I will post your story on the main website when I get a chance.  I try to do that, but there are so many stories that I do get behind.

Please give us some updates as you start to return to a normal life.

Good Luck and Thanks again.

Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet


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Re: My experience with Dr Raterman - Tampa, FL
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2013, 05:09:05 AM »
Great post full of interesting and useful detail.

Nice x-ray shot - very unusual with the zipper.

Thankfully I too had only one grumpy person at my hospital who didn't like her job for some reason - everyone else was lovely.

Best of luck with your continued recovery.
rbhr 3 january 2013
mr ronan treacy
royal orthopaedic hospital, birmingham, england


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Re: My experience with Dr Raterman - Tampa, FL
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2013, 08:31:54 AM »
Pat, Thank you for pointing those items out. I'm not sure why I didn't find those items about Dr Raterman, pre-surgery. Most likely it was my stress level. I was pretty nervous going into surgery. I will post again from time to time. I have seen to many posts on various sites about things that people write very shortly after whatever they're writing about & I OFTEN wonder how things turned out for them.

That's why, for me, I wanted to wait a while after my surgery to let things "settle" a bit, before I logged in my opinion on things. I'll look around the site more & read more of what others have written & come back here from time to time & update my status &/or add things I may have forgotten.

This post does email me when somebody comments, so I'll do my best to come back & read what anyone posts or answer questions if they have them.

evant- I appreciate the positive feedback & your comment on a similar experience. Thank you.


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Re: My experience with Dr Raterman - Tampa, FL
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2013, 09:19:26 AM »
Nice story hipster, glad you're recouping well. Keep the information flowing, it helps all of us.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder


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Re: My experience with Dr Raterman - Tampa, FL
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2013, 09:39:39 AM »
Since I 'promised' I would come back & update this thread, here I am. Two days ago I went back to see Dr Raterman for my 3 month followup appointment. They took some X-Rays to see how things were doing inside. The Doc said things look great. The nurse had me do some exercises to test my RoM & flexibility & both she & the Doc said I'm doing great. I feel great!

I'm done with my actual PT now, but am doing my exercise regimen. I walk 2 miles every morning or 6 days a week @ about 4 mph, I spend about 10 minutes stretching every day & ride the stationary bike 5 days a week 2 times per day for about 30 minutes. I also work out on my Bowflex (not affiliated with the company in any way, just a fact) & do some abdominal exercises for about 20-30 minutes M-W-F.

I've also been doing the 5:2 diet brought to popularity by Dr Michael Mosley (BBC) for about 4 months now too. This 'diet' is 5 days of eating 'normally' & 2 days of 'fasting'. The 2 days do not have to be consecutive & MM says he's gotten great results from Males eating 600 Calories per fast day & Females eating 500 Calories per fast day. I've lost about 15 pounds of mostly fat (from about 24% to about 20% Body Fat), lowered my Cholesterol & Triglycerides considerably. I've also lost about 2 inches around the waist. Again, this is not a plug for the diet, but IMHO it's well worth checking it out. I happened to see a program on PBS about 1 month before surgery & it really hit home, so I bought his book & started making changes. The best thing is that it's easy & works.

So much for me plugging everyone that I'm not getting a cut of the $$$ from. I just wanted to check back in & give an update.

So, to recap:

I'm healing well, almost no pain, a tiny bit stiff when I first start walking after sitting for a while, I'm done with actual PT & have tried to use my RHR as a motivator to get my old geezerly self back into shape.

Good luck to any one recovering & if you're someone thinking of getting the HR surgery...
My ONLY regret is that I didn't do this procedure MUCH sooner & I foolishly suffered for years limping around with a "bum" hip.

Did I ever mention that I'm 59? 


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Re: My experience with Dr Raterman - Tampa, FL
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 02:10:27 PM »
Good stuff, hipster! Hey 59 is the new 44, so....

One piece of advice, having done a lot of stretching both before and after the HR, make sure you stretch heavily after a workout, not before. If you do some before, I'd do it really light.

Great that you're feeling this well.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder


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Re: My experience with Dr Raterman - Tampa, FL
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 03:38:33 PM »
Thanks for the advice. What's your thinking on or experience with the stretching? Is it because stretching too hard while cold may do something to my "new" hip or is it something too dangerous to tell me or you'd have to kill me?

I'm just wondering. I'm really kinda wimpy when it comes to stretching anyway. I do a little here & a little there. Mostly REALLY slowly & light. I do some stuff with the stairs, like put one foot on the third step & do a little this & that, then change feet (not all at once, like ballet or anything). I'm mostly trying loosen my hips, stretch my hamstrings & lower back, all the while not trying to hurt myself or expend too much energy. I try to REALLY take it easy. Both before & after walking or working out.

Do you have any sort of routine or such? I'd be open to suggestions & more specific info.


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Re: My experience with Dr Raterman - Tampa, FL
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2013, 10:32:32 AM »
Stretching is the hardest thing to do right, in my mind, since it is easy to start and everyone can do it. The problem is that people get impatient and want results right away.

When I started in my main school, I really wanted to catch up with the upper belts in flexibility. I had been out of martial arts for a year (college, girlfriends, parties) and decided to get serious again. I started in the winter, pushed the stretching so I was doing big stretches (sitting on the floor, trying to get the hamstrings worked out, etc) before class so I could jump into the big kicks that require flexibility.

I managed to get myself a ten month groin pull. It didn't go away no matter how I stretched. I went through the pain, but it didn't stop until one of the Korean black belts took me aside and showed me his sequence:

  • Light warm up. Just easy waist twists, arm movements, no bending down, just warm up the core.
  • Light and easy stretches. Easy kicks, very low, make sure your legs move, but lightly, hop in place, practice easy evasion (shift side to side, diagonal, etc), maybe shadow box. The point was to get your body moving and extend your legs and arms easily, with no stress.
  • Take a class. Usually an hour, hour and a half, with stretching included, mostly dynamic stretching - knees to chest while standing (or try those), etc.
  • Half hour of fighting afterwards. A hard workout, with lots of movement and high adrenaline
  • Heavy stretching. Anything addressing the larger muscles. We avoided the hurdler's stretch, since my instructors thought that put too much stress on the knees and we weren't likely to be hurdling each other.
  • Warm down, light stuff, replenish fluids (which we also did half way through the class).
  • Shower, get home and collapse.

My instructor explained that he thought if you did heavy stretches while cold, and you pushed too hard, you were putting stress on a compound system. The stronger muscles (hamstrings, etc) would hold up well under the stress, but it would get transferred to the smaller, weaker muscles and those would crack under the stress.

That's why he thought you only did the big stuff when fully warmed and overwarmed. And that was done with a very cautious approach, since it's easy to tear muscle - a pull is really a small tear, and it takes a while to repair.

The point (and it's getting long... ) is that you do light stuff before your workout, some during, but allow the workout to relax and dynamically stretch you and then do the heavy duty static (sit on the floor, beind forward standing, etc..) stretches afterwards. And all the way through, stretch only until you feel resistance.

When I stretch, I usually lean to slight resistance, when I feel it, I hold at that position to the count of 20, then let up and once I feel relaxed, lean forward again and repeat. You'll find that the stretch is deeper the second time.

Flexibility takes patience. It would take a new Tae Kwon Do student about six months before he or she was able to do the basic kicks correctly due to flexibility. If they weren't dancers or something beforehand, that is.

Sorry for the length, but this is something I think is important.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 10:40:42 AM by hernanu »
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder


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Re: My experience with Dr Raterman - Tampa, FL
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2013, 11:00:29 AM »
Me too! Thanks for all the info. I greatly appreciate it. Due to my former "bad" hip & lower back problems, I had to give up Martial Arts quite a while ago. One of the things that inspired me to get the hip done (besides the fact that I could barely walk), was the hope of getting back into the Martial Arts, even if I just did things at home & didn't actually go to a Dojo & work out with the real folks.

Thank you for the info on stretching. It has always been hard for me & like you said, anyone can do, just most people don't do it correctly.

I'll read this through again & maybe I'll even copy & paste it somewhere so I can keep it handy.



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