My name is Nate, and I have had the great satisfaction of regaining 95% strength and mobility of my hip joints and the muscles connected to this joint since my two surgeries. I was a very active young guy who taught high school PE, coached multiple sports, played organized sports my whole life, and participated in many recreational activities whenever possible. My ability to play organized sports and be active recreationally was greatly diminished when I was 24 and began feeling the symptoms of my torn labrum in my right hip. A year later I could tell the labrum in my left hip joint was feeling the same way. In fact the morning I felt the torn labrum in the left hip, it took me 5 minutes to get to a standing position. At the time I didn’t know what the problem was.
From the first sign of the symptoms any time I was running or physically exerting myself (while using my legs) I ran the risk of either one of them giving out on me. There were many times when I would be playing basketball and when I would plant to jump, the leg would just give out. It was same way when I would be running the bases in softball. While I might be able to do normal everyday activities for the time being, I knew that would eventually change if I never addressed the problem head on.
At first I went to a regular doctor, and all he did was prescribe pain medicine to cover up the symptoms. That didn’t come close to addressing the issue, and I knew it. I didn’t really want to acknowledge that the problem was really that bad, and I was pretty much in denial the first year. When my left hip became symptomatic I went to a chiropractor. This addressed some of the symptoms more directly but not the root of the problem. After a year of this, I felt I had to see a specialist.
I had heard that Barnes Jewish was the best in the area and wanted to see what they said. That was the first time I truly found out what the root of the problem was. I had been born with abnormal bone growth on the neck of the femur bone just under the ball of the femur that fits in the hip socket. This extra bit of bone had been rubbing on the labrum (cartilage) in the hip joint my whole life and had finally worn through and torn part of my labrum. We tried a non-invasive physical rehab approach, but the damage had been done. I scheduled the surgeries knowing only a complete recovery of my full abilities would be sufficient.
The first surgery was March 2nd, 2009. I’ll always remember that date much like an anniversary, because that was the first day on the long road to recovery. I was home the next day and was soon doing physical rehab at home. It was a month before I was walking without assistance (crutches), but it has been worth every challenging second, minute, hour,… While the apprehension of not knowing what to expect was gone for the second surgery, it was even more challenging for that very same reason. I knew what I had to do and go through, and it’s never fun being cooped up for the whole month of June. Following both surgeries, I had to follow-up with extensive physical rehab. It took a lot of dedication and support from my wife and all the physical therapy staff.
It has now been two years since my first surgery, and I still feel great and am back to all my pre-symptom activities. Every time I went in to Barnes whether it was for x-rays, surgeries, or check-ups, I felt like I was more than just another number. I was a patient that they remembered and cared about. Most of the stories I told them about the activities I was doing so quickly after my surgeries made them laugh and shake their head at me at the same time. I am very grateful to have found such a great group of medical staff that took it upon themselves to make sure I got the best medical care possible, while educating me along the way.
Nate (A very grateful patient)