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Gary's story: bilateral anterior hip replacement

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

By: Betsy Hansen

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Hip replacement surgery is a common procedure. You probably have a family member, neighbor or a friend that has gone through it. But what about having both hips replaced at the same time?


Bilateral anterior hip replacement


Gary, an active 50-year-old Clintonville man had both hips replaced with the anterior approach by Dr. Michael Schnaubelt. He has been involved with officiating high school sports all over Wisconsin for more than 25 years, as well as coaching football, softball, Little League baseball, and playing golf and softball.


Chronic hip pain


In 2010, Gary’s hip pain began. “I thought it was just arthritis. My hip would lock, I felt like I was going to fall over. I had days where I was holding onto handrails or boxes because the pain was so severe.”


He turned to cortisone shots, which gave him temporary relief.  After the pain returned, he knew it was time for a hip replacement. The daily chronic pain was ruining the things he enjoyed the most. “It really affected my golf game and football officiating which I love, I was really struggling to get up and down the field.”


When he visited Dr. Schnaubelt, Gary was adamant about staying active and discussed having both hips done at the same time.


The surgery and stay at Aurora BayCare Medical Center


Forty-nine may seem young to have both hips replaced, but it wasn’t in Gary’s case. By the time he went in for x-rays there was no cartilage left in his hip joints. “I probably waited too long. There was no reason to grit and go through this pain. Go get it done. It will only set you back a month or so and you’ll be back at 100% doing the things you want to do.”



Gary attended the Joint Camp, a program where BayCare Clinic orthopedic surgeons provide education and expectations to pre-surgical patients. “I had folders and folders of things to read ahead of time. I went in there very, very comfortable.”


After surgery, Gary was pleased with his care from Aurora BayCare Medical Center. “I can’t say this enough, they were absolutely phenomenal. They were very patient.”


And at home a rehab nurse visited him a few times post-surgery and he excelled in recovery. A week after surgery, Gary was able to walk up the stairs. A few months later, Gary was back on the golf course.


Gary’s last piece of advice: “If you have a chance to go to see Dr. Schnaubelt to have your hips done, and you don’t do that, you’re making one heck of a mistake.”


What is the anterior hip replacement?


Anterior hip replacement procedure


Learn more about this innovative procedure here.

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