"My story began when I was fairly young. I was active in sports; baseball, wrestling and cross-country in high school. But even then I had very little flexibility in my hips. I couldn't stretch out to the side like everyone else, being able to put my feet only about 24" apart before it was painful. As I got older, I continued to be active, even running a marathon when I was 38, but I began to notice that my flexibility, never good was getting worse. By the time I was 50, I had to lower the seat on my bike, slide over the rear and then raise the seat up after I had gotten on. Getting off was the same. There was no way I could ever swing my leg up and over to get on the bike. I still had good range of motion to the front and rear but virtually none to the side. I quit running long distance, getting in about 3 miles before both hips would start aching and it became very painful. I continued to be as active as I could, riding my bike 10 miles to work in the summer, while dreading the possibility of having to bail off in an emergency, knowing full well I wouldn't be able to. My wife and I were also training and running dogs in agility trials. While the distances were short and the runs brief in duration, the agility courses required a lot of abrupt changes in direction for both the dog and handler. It finally got to the point that it was just too painful to continue and yet I persisted, not wanting to give up my active lifestyle. I visited a physical therapist that, upon seeing my constricted movement, immediately ordered x-rays. They showed severe osteoarthritis and bone spurs in both hips. He and my primary physician both recommended hip replacement surgery. I had previously had shoulder surgery done by Dr. Ellingsen at Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists and felt that if I were going to have my hips replaced, it would be there. I first did some research on hip replacement and talked to a number of folks I knew that had undergone replacement surgery. I decided that the anterior method of replacement would be preferable. So I looked for a physician that specialized in that procedure. Dr. Reichard immediately came to the top of the list not only because of his training and experience but also because of a referral from a friend who had gone to him for the same surgery. I had the surgery done on my right hip (it was the worse of the two) in August of 2013. I was 60 years old. I went back to work two weeks post-surgery, using a cane for support. The second week back to work, I stopped using the elevator to my second floor office and used the stairs. I was able to walk without pain for the first time in probably 30 years. Even the left hip stopped hurting, finally getting some help from the right hip! I started running with my dog in agility training in early December and we did our first trial the last weekend in December. I have done several trials since and my speed and flexibility continue to get better. I find I can walk as far as I want to and work on our farm without any pain in my right hip at all. The left hip is starting to bite me again and I am going to have to schedule that one for surgery before long. I am immensely pleased with the results of the right hip replacement and I have no hesitation in going ahead with the left hip replacement at the end of this summer. The only question I can ask at this point is, apparently universal among hip replacement patients, why did I wait so long to have this done?" -- Jim A.
Patient Review - 1397067382