Lee R’s Bilateral Hip Resurfacing with Dr. Kusuma 2010
August 18, 2013
Even though my specific case is atypical, my story is not. I call it atypical in that my need was not due to Osteoarthritis, wear and tear, running (in high school I was a athlete), or over weight. The only explanation for my dramatic loss of cartilage in my hips was that I have Psoriatic Arthritis (PA).
About 3 and a half years ago, after a routine check up with my rheumatologist, when I had my major joints X-rayed for their 2 year update, she called me up with the results and mentioned that I should replace or resurface my hips, as I have no cartilage in my right hip and 25% left in my left. If I wasn’t seeing a doctor based out of the Cleveland Clinic, I question whether resurfacing would even have been mentioned.
Since I live in Columbus OH, I did not want to have the surgery in Cleveland, as I did not want to have to drive back for follow ups during the recovery (my wife does not drive). So I got a referral to one of the top orthopedic surgeons in Columbus.
During my consultation, the orthopedic surgeon downplayed resurfacing and spoke about replacements, his bread and butter business. I asked about the longevity of the replacement implant and my concern about out living it (I was 49 at the time). He reassured me that if I took it easy, I could get about 20 years before it would need to be replaced.
I pressed him on resurfacing, and he insisted that they weren’t as successful, only 90% compared to replacements at 99%, which turned out not to be the case. I surmise that the real reason he downplayed resurfacing was that he did not do it.
Consultations with several other orthopedic surgeons left me unsatisfied with their recommendations that a 49 year old male in good shape should get his hips replaced and put up with the restrictions necessary to ensure the longevity of the implants, and none of them did resurfacing.
A fortuitous recommendation from my pain management doctor led me to Dr Sharat Kusuma from Minimally Invasive Orthopedics out of Grant Hospital, a top hospital for orthopedics.
Dr Kusuma was friendly, clearly and concisely explained the differences between resurfacing and replacement. Since he has been factory trained, and performs both replacement and resurfacing, I felt he was more qualified to make the comparison than someone who does not.
I also liked that of all the surgeons I spoke to, he was the only one who does not prescribe physical therapy for post operative recuperation, walking is all that was required.
I scheduled my first surgery with little trepidation, fully confident in Dr Kusuma’s abilities. The surgery went perfectly, textbook perfect. I could not have the spinal, due to a bleeding issue, so waking up in recovery was not pleasant, in fact it was the most painful experience of my life, and having suffered from chronic pain from the PA and Fibromyalgia for years, as well as being opiate tolerant, it tool the anesthesiologist quite a while to find the right dosage to mitigate the pain sufficiently for them to allow my wife in to see me.
After I had been in my room for a few hours, I was forced to stand up and walk. That is right, just a few hours after I had my hip sliced open, with a huge scar, the femur popped out, smoothed off and capped, the hip socket relined, and then put together, I was up and walking. Even with all of the post operative pain, I could still tell that the hip was working better than it had in years.
I was sent home the next day, and promptly drove my wife crazy, not being a very good patient, and to walk as much as possible. The recovery took a while, though I was up and about as soon as I got home. I was cleared to drive after 4 weeks, and after 8 weeks back at work. Recovery is probably faster for those without an autoimmune inflammatory disease.
I was so pleased with the results, that I scheduled the other hip before I was completely recovered from the first. The second was a replay of the first, and went off without a hitch.
I was also so pleased that I had recommended Dr Kusuma to a coworker who was having hip problems, and she had a resurfacing as well. She was back at work in 2 weeks, though had to take it easy for a while.
I just had my 3 year follow up on the second hip and both hips are still perfect. I was asked if I could tell my story so that others could benefit from my experience, as there is still very little information available about this, to me, life altering procedure.
I normally do not post anything, nor participate in social media of any kind, however if I could just help 1 person by telling my story, than I have paid back for the value add that I have received.