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My Replacements

From: Tom Patterson
Date: 23 Jan 2001
Time: 10:42:22
Remote Name:


Hi all, I've been reading a lot of the posts here and seems like lots of people are asking if it's the right thing to do or right time to do it. I think you'll know when the time is right! As for me, I was just two weeks old when my Mother noticed I would cry out when she changed my diapers. The family doctor treated my right hip for an infection. By the age of 13 I again was feeling pain in my right hip. At the age of 15 my Mother and I viewed the first xray of my right hip. We both picked up or chins off the floor and went home speechless. This resulted in a trip to an ortopedic surgeon where I fist was told that I would need a total hip replacement, in the future. For 25 years I lived on pain pills and anti-infamatory pills. With each trip to the surgeon I heard the same statement, "Tom, these replacement hips are for 60 year old people who want to play golf"! In July of 1992 I could no longer stand the pain, I pleaded with my surgeon, after all these years I was tired, beat and needed relief. Surgery was scheduled for August 18, 1992. I guess the good lord was watching over me, for during the pre-op tests my family doctor diagnosed an infected prostrate gland and had surgery canceled. On August 24, 1992 we were devastated by hurricane Andrew, the hospital received extensive damage. Surgery was rescheduled for March 1, 1993. The morning after I began wondering if I had done the right thing. By the beginning of June I was back to work, I now knew I had indeed done the right thing. After 25 years of pain I "finally" was pain free!! Then in January of 2000 I noticed pain in my right hip again. My doctor treated me for a pinched nerve with no relief. After a barage of tests, a total bone scan showed the replacement hip socket had come loose. So on June 15, 2000 I went into surgery for a totol hip revision. At least this time I knew what I had to do. I knew what to expect, and I totaly committed myself to the hours of therapy, the exercises, the walking, in and out of the pool doing excercises. I am now back to "normal", as normal as can be for me. I'm with out pain, back to work, life once again is good. So for those who are wondering if their doing the "right thing", I can't speak for you but for me it was the right thing to do, and if I had to do it all over, I'd do it again! Extreme pain is a hard thing to live with so I guess you should let pain be your guide. The 7 years of pain free life with the first surgery was worth what I went through after surgery. I feel the same about this surgery. For those of you who are comtemplating this surgery, I can tell you the weeks following surgery are very difficault. But, I can tell you, work for your recovery, do the excercises till it hurts, don't give in to post-surgery pain, It'll pay off in the end! And for a final note: My surgeon was, Dr. Steven Bohmer MD. A graduate of Engineering school who decided to go back to school to become an Orthopaedic Surgeon (lucky me). However, shortly after my surgery, Dr. Bohmer got married and he and his new wife went to Costa Rica for their honeymoon. They took a sight seeing plane ride to see the active volcano there. During the flight something happened, the plane ran into the side of the volcano and all on board were killed!! So I guess no matter how bad your situation is, it can always be worse! I feel very lucky to have had Dr. Bohmer as my surgeon, yet sad that he won't beable to help others as he did me. To those of you contemplating hip surgery I hope my story helps you out in your decision making process. And good luck to each of you with your surgery. Tom Patterson

Last changed: January 23, 2001