Mike's Story: Hip Resurfacing
As the manager of health care construction at Turner Construction Company, Mike Gallivan never knew how working at his next client – Newton-Wellesley Hospital – would change his life.
Mike has spent the last five years at the Hospital overseeing numerous construction projects including the Maxwell Blum Emergency Pavilion. So when he injured his knee during the summer, Mike didn’t hesitate to schedule an appointment when he heard there were options to provide relief from his pain. He scheduled an appointment to meet with Daniel Snyder, MD, orthopaedic surgeon and Assistant Director of the Jim & Ellen Kaplan Joint Center.
"I actually heard about Dr. Snyder during a job meeting for the new Emergency Department. A Newton-Wellesley employee in the meeting noticed that I was in pain and shared information about the great orthopaedic services available at the Hospital,” says Mike. “So I decided to schedule an appointment and figure out what was causing my knee pain.
Meeting with Dr. Snyder
Dr. Snyder diagnosed my knee injury as a bruised bursar sac and gave me a cortisone shot that immediately eliminated the pain the injury was causing.”
Dr. Snyder was able to help Mike alleviate his knee pain; however, before Mike received treatment for his knee injury, he had compensated for the pain by walking with a limp. This overcompensation changed his normal gait and caused Mike to begin having intense pain in his hip. The pain became so severe and debilitating that he decided to schedule another visit at Newton-Wellesley to help determine possible treatment options.
Knee and Hip Pain
“Dr. Snyder recommended that I meet with his colleague, Alfred Hanmer, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Joint Center, about my hip pain. I had not experienced any hip problems prior to my knee injury so I was worried that I might have caused damage to this joint as well.” Mike scheduled an appointment with Dr. Hanmer to try and determine the cause of his hip pain and receive relief from his discomfort.
“When I met with Mike to assess his pain, I found he had a very limited range of motion and narrowing in his hip joint along with wear and tear that was causing him pain,” says Dr. Hanmer. “We always try to treat the condition as conservatively as possible. My first recommendation was trying various non-surgical methods in addition to altering Mike’s level of exercise intensity and physical activity to see if that would affect his pain level.”
Dr. Hanmer tried a variety of pain management techniques with Mike including cortisone shots, acupuncture and physical therapy to strengthen his hip joint and increase his range of motion.
“Even with these treatment procedures to help manage my hip pain, there were so many things I couldn’t do anymore,” says Mike. “I couldn’t climb stairs or walk around job sites. I started using a cane just to get around. I couldn’t participate in any physical activity. Two of my favorite pastimes, golf and racquetball, were impossible.” Mike knew he wanted his quality of life back. When Dr. Hanmer suggested hip resurfacing, Mike decided to at least look into the procedure and give it some thought.
“After the more conservative treatment methods were not helping Mike with his hip pain, I decided to discuss the option of a hip resurfacing procedure,” says Dr. Hanmer.
Choosing Hip Resurfacing
“Hip resurfacing is similar to a hip replacement; however, instead of removing bone, we cap the existing bone stock.”
Since Mike was a younger patient who wanted to maintain his activity level, Dr. Hanmer thought resurfacing would be a good option. In this bone-preserving procedure, the hip joint is relined instead of replaced. The head and neck of the femur bone are preserved and the worn surfaces of the ball and socket are carefully removed. The ball and socket are then lined with a metal covering rather than replaced with a prosthesis. Patients who undergo the resurfacing procedure have a decreased risk of dislocation.
“After going through the pros and cons of hip resurfacing, I realized that recovery from the operation couldn’t be any worse than the pain I was experiencing on a daily basis,” says Mike. “So after discussing the details with Dr. Hanmer – I decided to schedule the operation.”
On February 8, 2006, Mike came to Newton-Wellesley for his hip surgery. After his operation, he spent four days in the Hospital before returning home to continue his rehabilitation.
“I really felt good after the procedure. I started rehab while I was still in the Hospital and within a week, I was walking with crutches,” says Mike. “I had a visiting nurse and a physical therapist coming to my house on a regular basis to assist me during my recovery, which consisted of a lot of stretching and walking exercises. I gradually dropped down from two crutches to one and then just a cane.”
Within two months of his hip resurfacing, Mike was walking without his cane or any assistance. By September – just seven months after surgery – Mike was back on the racquetball court.
Better Quality of Life
“I am back doing everything I was before my knee and hip problems. I’m golfing, riding my bike, playing racquetball and most importantly – living pain free. It has been important for me to still keep up with exercise and stretching. My quality of life since the operation has completely changed. I feel like I have my life back.” Joint pain can be caused by a variety of injuries and conditions. Dr. Hanmer recommends talking to your physician about any joint pain you might be experiencing. Many patients do not realize there are options available to relieve this intrusive and sometimes, debilitating pain. Joint pain can make it difficult for patients to take part in everyday activities, which can be frustrating and affect the lives of both patients and their families.
“Mike was a great patient with a great outcome,” adds Dr. Hanmer. “He was in good shape physically and maintained an active lifestyle, which he didn’t want to give up due to his joint discomfort. He didn’t want to be slowed down and we were able to help him regain his quality of life. We are finding that patients are coming in and wanting procedures that allow them to maintain their current level of activity. We are able to offer various methods of getting people back in the game!”
To make an appointment or find out more about the Jim & Ellen Kaplan Joint Center at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, please call us at 617-243-5155 or email us.
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