March 23, 2008
Team: Dr. Tom Gross; Lee Webb; Nancy Smith; and Physical Terrorist “Killer”
Carter from Providence Hospital in Columbia
Brief History: Clinically diagnosed in dire need of a THR in March of 2001.
Stopped running regularly, playing racket ball, tennis, way before 2001. My
range of motion was slowly slipping away every year. Loss of mobility was
obvious when I sat in the saddle of my road bike on an angle so that my right
heel wouldn’t hit the crossbar. Last summer, another notable sign of years of
ignoring my RT hip was having a masseuse, in China, explain in Mandarin to my
counterpart (from Hong Kong Police, who interpreted) that my chassis was all
messed up and crooked.
Scheduled for THR in November of 2007; however, after much research decided to
visit Columbia for hip resurfacing. The story that tipped the scale was the
55-year old patient of Dr. Gross’s (Mike McCraw) who went to Hooters for oysters
and beer on the Friday after the operation, and returned to work on the
following Monday. This guy is my hero.
(I wish to note that I was a ‘lucky’ guy needing a hip because my pain was only
when mobile or active; many times being able to work through the pain, I’ve read
some of the horror stories of other patients who had necrosis or a damaged
femoral ball. I couldn’t imagine their pain.)
Feb. 27, 2008: The operation went well, excellent nursing staff in the OR and on
the orthopedic floor of Providence Hospital. Returned to my room at about noon,
began walking at 2pm. Also walked that night too. My first walk was with a
walker, the second with crutches.
First Day Post-OP: 4:30AM – catheter removal (Argh!). The new addition to my
body felt great. Physical Therapy commenced with “Killer Carter” of Providence
Hospital twice a day. (You’d never guess Carter’s husband is a pastor). Walked a
lot and did the exercises (which do help immensely) twice. Walked with one
Second Day Post-OP: Feeling better. Saw the Doc at 8:30am, a great guy with a
twenty-year-old ski coat. He admonished me to take some pain meds.
Third Day Post-OP: Left the hospital at 1:30pm off to Sand Point or Hill for
beers and appetizers. Walked a lot on the crutches. Returned to the hotel, wife
made a great Italian meal.
Travel home on the airplane day: I was not looking forward to traveling back to
Utah on 5 hours of plane rides from Columbia. My wife brought excess baggage
totaling $80, not to mention 3 carry ons. It was like “Misery” with my wife as
Kathy Bates. I reserved my morning pain pill for the longer second flight from
Cincinnati to Salt Lake. I hated every minute of it. That’s all over now, and
As soon as I got home I iced all night to reduce the swelling and the next day.
I iced for about the first week. I took a pain pill after morning exercises and
before bed. The pills gave me a headache. I used a Motrin, if needed, for the
second week on.
I walked with a cane from the second day home. It’s been 3 weeks and two days
Post-OP and I’m trying hard not to exceed the mileage recommended by Dr. Tom. I
walk with a limp without the cane, but have been walking a lot more without it.
I’m sure it will be gone soon. I don’t have knee pain and believe I’m walking
better and with ease (still trying not to overdo it).
My wife and I found Dr. Gross and his staff professional and genuinely concerned
and faithful. They believe in what they are doing. Although the uncemented
femoral component is new, I have faith it will work. (The verdict will be not be
in for several years), Providence Hospital is also a breath of fresh air, a
hospital that resisted the domination of a big conglomerate HMO, to revert back
to a Christian based care facility.
Less than a month after surgery and feeling great. My biggest problem is trying
not to over do it.