Meet Ernie, a relatively young and active hip replacement patient. Ernie and his family live in Upstate New York. In the summer, Ernie is a tile setter, which requires significant physical stamina and puts stress on his joints. He is also a mountain biker and motorcycle racer in the warmer months and has won several awards in his 29 years of racing.
Ernie’s life doesn’t slow down in the winter months, given the fact he has been an avid snowboarder for nearly 30 years. Ernie and his wife, Felicia, are professional ski patrollers for Hunter Mountain in New York and together, they have helped save many lives during emergency rescues. Ernie was once able to reassure a man who had a traumatic pelvic injury because of his personal experience with reconstructive surgery. Ernie’s wife, Felicia, is a retired ER nurse and shares his love of biking, as well as the slopes.
Ernie first started noticing hip pain at age 45. The diagnosis was soon confirmed on X-ray and progressively worsened in the following years. Ernie’s father had undergone bilateral hip replacement during his 50s, so there was family history.
By age 52, Ernie was experiencing sharp pains when he lifted his legs. He also began walking bent over, and his friends weren’t afraid to point out his deteriorating mobility. By this time, Ernie was also getting less and less sleep since he could no longer find comfortable positions lying down. He was regularly taking over-the-counter pain relievers.
As his osteoarthritis progressed, Ernie felt he had found the right surgeon, someone he trusted and who understood his active lifestyle. He cannot say enough about Dr. Jared Roberts and his staff, who practice in Albany, N.Y.
Ernie performed his own research on total hip approaches and confirmed early on that Dr. Roberts performed ANTERIOR ADVANTAGE™ Hip Replacement. This was important to Ernie since he had read that hip muscles were not cut during the anterior approach procedure. Based on his age and fitness level, Dr. Roberts felt Ernie was a candidate to have both hip replacement surgeries at the same time so that Ernie could have just one recovery period.
Ernie says he “waved the white flag” in the summer 2018 and had his bilateral total hip replacement surgeries done one day apart. Following his surgeries, Ernie used a walker for 10 days, then a cane for four days and was walking on his own 15 days post-surgery. Dr. Roberts gave Ernie permission to bike on flat ground 24 days after surgery. One of Ernie’s most meaningful recovery milestones was the fact that he was back skiing three months after his hip replacement surgeries.
Ernie wants other hip replacement patients to know that it is important to find the right surgeon and investigate treatment options. Ernie believes in ANTERIOR ADVANTAGE™ Hip Replacement and the bilateral hip implants he received from DePuy Synthes, including the ACTIS® Hip Stem and the PINNACLE® Acetabular Hip System. Ernie shared that he is happy the implants are part of his body and that he is now doing more than he did in his 40s, when he started becoming increasingly stiff and immobile. Today, he feels his hips couldn’t be better.
As Ernie enjoys his active lifestyle, he feels confident in the durability of his new hips. He is grateful for the technology and the medical care he received because after all he has been through, he has an even greater appreciation for the value of a life without pain. Ernie’s experience with total hip replacements has been life changing, enabling him to participate in the most important activities in his life alongside the person he holds most dear, Felicia.
It has been meaningful for him to see his friends and family encouraged by his transformation back to the enthusiastic, energetic and active person they had always known. Ernie wants other hip replacement patients to not let arthritis pain stop them from participating in their life’s passions.