Right BHR 2009 Dr. Klug
I had surgery on November 10, 2009. I am 4+ weeks post-BHR surgery on my right hip. Dr. Raphael Klug of Kaiser Roseville CA was my surgeon.
I’m a 59-year old post-menopausal woman. Previous to my year of increasing hip pain and surgery, I was an active stone sculptor. Exercise for me consisted of water aerobics and walking. I had been experiencing unusual thigh pain. It was as if my muscles just gave out. I could barely walk. My general practitioner referred me to a sports doctor. The sports doc immediately steered me to an orthopedic surgeon in San Rafael who only did lateral total hip replacements. I got on his 3-month waiting list because I thought this was my only option. Then, I began to research.
I attended a lecture sponsored by Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa at which two orthopedic surgeons talked about the benefits of anterior THR. At this lecture I learned that there was one surgeon at Kaiser Vallejo that performed anterior THR. I immediately got a referral from the San Rafael Kaiser surgeon, consulted with the surgeon in Vallejo, who said I was a good candidate for anterior THR and got on his 3-month surgery waiting list.
All of this research took months and my hip was getting worse by the day. The anti-inflammatory drugs I was taking were no longer controlling my pain. I hobbled with a very pronounced limp. It was so obvious that people stopped me on the street and asked me if I had a bad hip. Everyone was full of advice; much of it very helpful. All of it was pointing me toward an anterior total hip replacement. Then one night, at my neighborhood table tennis club, Jeff, a man with a deadly slam, told me that he had had a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing two years earlier. He had been an ardent soccer player before the BHR. Now he ran, exercised and had complete freedom of movement. He explained the difference between a BHR and a THR. His wife Linda told me about a great website called Surface Hippy and how it had really helped them. They whole-heartedly recommended their surgeon Dr. Gilbert in San Francisco. However, he wasn’t in the Kaiser system so I had to find a Kaiser surgeon that performed BHR surgery.
I went home and checked out Surface Hippy. Loved it! I went into the Kaiser member website and tried to find a surgeon in my area who performed the procedure. There was no information. I sent an email to the surgeon in Vallejo that I was scheduled with and asked if he did BHRs and was I a good candidate for one? He responded that he did not do them but would forward my x-rays to Dr. Baker in Oakland and Dr. Klug in Roseville. Both surgeons did BHRs.
Once I had the names of Kaiser surgeons who performed BHRs, I got back on the internet and did more research. I found an extremely informative video of Dr. Klug discussing the procedure at length. Subsequently, I received an email from my Vallejo surgeon. Dr. Klug had looked at my x-rays and was confident he could help me. I contacted his medical assistant and got on Dr. Klug’s 3-month waiting list for the initial consultation. Fortunately, there was a cancellation and I was able to see Dr. Klug in two weeks.
The initial meeting with Dr. Klug was informative. I appreciated his candor and experience. He has performed hundreds of BHRs. He was very clear, however, that while his goal for me was an anterior BHR, it was possible that I’d need a total hip replacement and he couldn’t make that call until he actually touched my bone. I agreed. For me this was an important consideration. I wanted a surgeon to have all the tools at his disposal for my benefit. Yes, my preference was the BHR but I wanted long-term success above all.
Did I mention, there was a three-month wait for the surgery? Since it was close to the Thanksgiving holiday, I stressed my strong desire to take any surgery cancellation that might occur. Even though his office is 2 hours from my home, I would drop everything, at a moment’s notice, to get the surgery done. Luck was with me. His scheduler called back in a couple weeks; someone had cancelled and I was having surgery four days later.
As it turned out, I did get a BHR. I was in the hospital 2 nights. Dr. Klug’s surgery team is hard working and bright. The staff at Kaiser Roseville was sharp, attentive, friendly and motivated. I really appreciated that. The physical therapist started me with a walker that I used for about 10 days. With the approval of my in-home physical therapist, I transitioned to a cane. Recovery is going great. Every day I walk further and longer and my stamina increases. I’m looking forward to weaning myself off the cane, getting back in the pool and on an exercise bike. I’m about two weeks away from being able to drive but I’m trying to be patient. And, I’m waiting for the rains to stop so I can begin sculpting stone again in my outdoor studio. Thanks Dr. Klug.
I read that there is a perception out there that some surgeons are generally reluctant to perform BHRs on post-menopausal women. I think it has more to do with each patient’s situation and the skill and expertise of the surgeon. Any responsible surgeon would refuse to perform a procedure if it wasn’t in the best interest of the patient. I’m proof that there are surgeons out there (like Dr. Klug) who are capable and comfortable working on us middle-aged and older broads.