I turned 53 five weeks after having my surgery on 1/26/09. For several years I suffered with hip pain that continued to get progressively worse each year. I have always been very active. I was an athlete in college and I have continued to stay involved with recreational sports into adult life. More recently I have been a practice partner for my daughter while she was participating in high school sports. Each year the activity became less enjoyable due to the increasing pain. I found that it was more and more of a struggle to play. The pain seemed to drain my energy.I first visited an orthopedic hip specialist in Charlotte about five years ago. After X-rays and an examination he confirmed that I had osteo-arthritis in my right hip, with the subsequent loss of cartilage. The bone to bone contact was the cause of my pain. His only option was total hip replacement and a prescription for an anti-inflammatory drug. I asked him how long I had if I continued to tough it out. He said probably five years and that I would know when it was time. He also told me to not give up hope because there were new developments all the time. At the time I had never heard of the hip resurfacing procedure. His comments did cause me to begin looking for different options. Shortly I became aware of procedures being done in Europe from information on the internet. I read several stories about the procedures performed by Dr. De Smet in Belgium. I actually looked into the cost of going there and having the operation. I continued to take the anti-inflammatory prescription, which did offer some relief. From time to time, generally as the pain flared up, I would return online to reading about the procedure. I soon stumbled onto the surface hippy website. The site had the answer to virtually every question I had. It also directed me to the doctors that were performing the Birmingham Hip Replacement. After liking what I read about Dr. Riyaz Jinnah at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. I called and made an appointment to have an evaluation for the BHR. After X-rays and an examination he confirmed that I would be an excellent candidate for the surgery due to my age and sufficient bone mass. The date was set for 1/26/09 which was accommodating to my schedule.
My surgery went well. I did however lose quite a bit of blood during the surgery and was sluggish and woozy. After receiving two units of blood I immediately perked up. I quickly completed the requirements of walking on crutches and navigating steps so that I could be released to go home. My wife drove me home after two nights in the hospital. I think that it is important to stress that a support person is needed following the surgery. My wife, Colleen, was a great help, particularly with the compression hose that needed to be worn. I took the pain medication on a regular schedule for about one week. I gradually weaned myself from the medication over the next week. The post-op exercises helped to pass the time and speeded the recovery. The return visits to Dr. Jinnah were always pleasant. He always seems to be upbeat and in a good mood. I quickly progressed from two crutches to one, then to a cane. At six weeks I was elated to drop the compression hose and the pillow between my legs at night. By six weeks I was walking quite well without the aid of a cane, although I did carry it for another week for safety. The progress continued with each week being a little easier to walk and a little less pain to bear. I followed the recovery suggestions by walking every day and doing the exercises. My 3 month appointment was highlighted by Dr. Jinnah telling me to “go for it, no restrictions”. I am now over 7 months out of surgery. I have virtually no pain and I hardly ever even think about my hip. The scar has even faded significantly. When people ask about my surgery I tell them that I wish I had done it years before. I am truly amazed at how much new energy I have. I didn’t realize how much the pain had sapped the energy from me before the surgery. I feel blessed to live in an age when an operation like this is possible. And I feel lucky to have access to a wonderful surgeon like Dr. Jinnah. Also, thanks to you and your website for directing me to him.
Joe Ferebee, Jr.