Written in 2013:
Six Years Later.
For an athlete, the soft tissue that connects muscles and bones is like gold and oil—a limited resource to be used sparingly. Sustainable farming of tendons and ligaments is, for the moment, unsustainable.
And so it is for those of us who through use, abuse, trauma or genetic fault find the meaty soft tissue, the fluid-filled, shock absorbing soft tissue gone for good and go looking for after-market parts.
On December 13, 2007, Dr. John Rogerson of Madison, Wisconsin shaved the top of my right femur, drilled a hole and placed a cobalt chromium cap where there used to be bone. And then he cleaned out the scarred and burled acetabulum and placed a perfectly reciprocal cup. Where there had been several centimeters of synovial filled uh…padding, there is now a BHR ball-and-socket. It works perfectly. And I only think about it at airport security.
During those six years under the advice of Dr. Rogerson I placed no personal limits. Every action and endurance sport became easier for me after the surgery as the great majority of my diminished pre-op range of motion was recaptured. No limits. Only the TSA agents make me think about it.
The community of hip replacementors, the happy hipsters who preach of getting their physical life back, is a supportive group. I’m not sure why. But it works and we talk to each other.
What are you doing now?
Who did your surgery?
What are your chromium blood levels?
But not everyone is pleased with the result. Manufacturer’s product recall, non-descript problems with the placement of the prosthetic, incomplete rehab, and inopportune post op life choices have tainted the experience of total hip replacement and resurfacing patients. Every month several hipsters reach out and ask why I can still run thirty miles each week and jump off mountains and (try to) spike volleyballs when they are resigned to nine holes and ibuprophen. The truth is I really don’t know.
Well, actually I sort of know and it starts with choosing the right surgeon.
Committed to the procedure in early 2007, I began a long and tedious recon of docs that did the BHR hip resurfacing. Many of the surgeons seemed capable enough on paper but for one reason or another put me off. They wouldn’t connect me with former patients, their hospital relationship was dodgy or their egos were just too much to swallow. I wanted a surgeon that had done at least 500 of the BHR procedures, I wanted a surgeon who had highly skilled hands and an impeccable reputation, a surgeon who believed in the procedure long before it was the coolest cut in orthopedics. I was committing my race-ravaged body to a full recovery to Youth and expected the best.
Over six years later, without a word from my BHR hip, not a tweak or twist or anything untoward, my choice of surgeons was correct. At some point it may wear out and I’ll need to have it replaced. But then again I may carry it all the way. And in the meantime I have no limits and have become a fan of the doc who placed it perfectly.” – Scott Tinley, Ph.D. San Diego, CA