I am a 68-year-old male in general good health and physical condition. I retired at age 65 in 2014 to enjoy travel, granddaughters’ and my outdoor activities including tennis, walking, swimming, hunting and yard work. I have been blessed with good health and tried to take good care of myself with physical exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping my weight under control.
Soon after retirement, I began to experience some mild pain in my left hip when walking, running and playing tennis. At first, the pain was only an aggravation and I just went about my life and physical activities. I told my primary care physician about the hip pain and he prescribed a NSAID (Mobic) which gave some relief. I continued my 3.5 mile walking route and tennis several times a week, but as time went on, my hip pain became worse and more aggravating. I put up with the hip pain until it began to impact my activities and I decided to seek orthopaedic involvement.
My wife had been a patient of Dr. Emily Casey for several years with a bad knee and suggested I make an appointment with her to look at my hip. I saw Dr. Casey in June of 2016 and she reviewed my x-rays and examined me. She explained that my left hip had little cartilage remaining and in several places the x-ray showed "bone on bone" causing my pain and there was probably osteoarthritis in the joint. Dr. Casey said PT would not help and I was a candidate for a total hip replacement. She was very thorough and explained there were several skilled surgeons at Andrews Sports Medicine that could replace my hip when I decided "it was time." I went home to contemplate the next step, which came pretty quickly as I decided I wanted to have my hip replaced and get back to my normal activities without pain.
I began to talk with friends and others who had a hip replaced as I needed to decide which surgeon I would like to do my surgery. I spoke with many people and the name that kept coming back as a strong recommendation with no reservation was Dr. James Flanagan.
I called Andrews Sports Medicine and requested Dr. Flanagan review my x-ray and asked if he would take my case for an anterior hip replacement. His nurse called back and said Dr. Flanagan had reviewed my x-rays and would see me which was great news.
My first appointment with Dr. Flanagan was in March of 2017 and he gave me the same diagnosis as Dr. Casey; my hip was worn out with normal wear and tear and my only option was to replace the joint. Dr. Flanagan was very patient, answered all questions and assured me I should be able to resume my normal activities six weeks after surgery.
All good doctors will tell you there is risk in any surgery and I was aware of this, but had confidence in Dr. Flanagan and his staff to give me my active lifestyle back with a new hip.
My hip replacement surgery was May 9 and took a little over an hour. I woke up in recovery with no pain and then moved to my room at St. Vincent's. When I got to my room, the PT staff was waiting for me with a walker and said we were going to walk down the hall. I was able to walk down the hall and back with absolutely no pain. I knew at that time that my hip replacement surgery had been successful. I spent two nights in the hospital and went to PT twice a day. I had no pain or discomfort the entire time. I had a pain pill every four hours, but did not take any pain meds after I left the hospital. The nurses, PT and everyone at St. Vincent's were great.
I followed Dr. Flanagan's restrictions, came back in two weeks to get my staples out and let him know how well I was doing. I was walking without a walker or cane in three days and driving myself to PT. I continued with restrictions, but began walking more and more and having less stiffness in my new hip. I began to swim some after the staples were removed and was walking without any limp. My last visit with Dr. Flanagan was five weeks post op and he told me to do whatever I felt like doing, including my tennis and walking.
The attached picture was made today, June 25, 2017 when I rejoined my regular Sunday afternoon tennis group for three sets of tennis and then went home to cut the grass. I am the one on the right by the net. My tennis group could not believe I was back on the court in six weeks and had no pain.
My entire experience with Andrews Sports Medicine, Drs. Casey and Flanagan, and St. Vincent's Hospital was extremely positive and I could not be more pleased with the results. Like others have said, I only wish I had gone for my surgery sooner. Dr. Flanagan and his staff are the "gold standard" as far as I am concerned. I know there are many excellent surgeons at Andrews, but my experience and results have been amazing. If you have hip pain, you need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Flanagan and let him review your case. I am so thankful I was able to have Dr. Flanagan and his team replace my hip and get me back to my active lifestyle.