Birmingham Hip Resurfacing through Anterior Incision
Three days in hospital, two weeks with walker, eight days with cane and back on my two feet
I was a somewhat serious runner in the nineties (five marathons) but had tapered to three miles three times a week while playing tennis (doubles) three times a week. I started to notice an onset of pain while running and playing tennis and eventually decided to see a doctor. I live in the New Orleans area and this was during the Katrina rebuilding so I was only able to get an appointment to see and Orthopedic Assistant. He took one frontal X-ray and said "Well, I see the problem". Looking at the x-ray he pointed out the hip sockets where there appeared to be no space between the ball and socket and described how there should be and said space should be filled with cartilage. He recommended I stop running and stop playing tennis immediately and suggested swimming or bicycling as an outlet for exercise.
Running had been my outlet for cardio and stress relief for years and was as much a part of my life as eating and sleeping. I was relocated to Houston at the time and went to the Methodist Hospital Sports Clinic where they took an extended series of X-rays and reached the same conclusion with respect to the state of my hips, but the Doctor said to keep doing whatever I wanted to do and when the pain got to bad, we'd look in to hip replacement. I didn't know anything about the procedure but the Doctor was reassuring when he said hip replacements had gotten to be somewhat routine and the technology had advance to the point where the implants lasted much longer than the five years purported in media.
I made friends with Advil, dropped running but kept playing tennis and my limp and pain worsened. A co-worker in Houston told me of an acquaintance who had just had both hips replaced through the anterior approach and provided me the gentleman's phone number. I called and was told of the patient's background, diagnosis and eventual treatment and was given the benefit of extensive research into surgeons and procedures. In this case, Dr. Stefan Kreuzer of Memorial Bone and Joint had performed the surgery and given the glowing recommendation, I made an appointment.
I met with Dr. Kreuzer who explained the procedure, but in review of my X-rays mentioned I might consider hip resurfacing because of my age (50) and activity level. He explained the differences between resurfacing and replacement with the comment the best of all worlds would be to do resurfacing through the anterior, providing a more stable hip with the benefit of a shorter recovery period. They had not done one as of this time (April 2007), but were looking for a suitable case.
We set a date for mid November and at my pre-surgery appointment was told that multiple anterior resurfacings had been performed and the results were positive. On November 16th we added my name to the list. I was three days in the hospital, two weeks with a walker, eight days with a cane and then back on my feet. I started physical therapy during the end of the walker phase and at seven weeks have progressed to the same elliptical machine workouts I was doing pre-surgery and walking 3.0 MPH on the treadmill.
If all goes well, I will be taking my first treadmill running steps on February 1st and hitting my first tennis ball on March 1st. Both dates could probably be moved forward, but I'm trying to be cautious.
I highly recommend Dr. Kreuzer at Memorial Bone and Joint in Houston for the anterior resurfacing. I'll send a picture when I hit the first tennis ball.
Jay C. Cooke