Matt Smith, Hip Replacement Patient

Matt Smith - Midland, MI

"I'm extremely happy to be pain-free, extremely happy to be active."

Hip Replacements Return Local Competitive Athlete to His Active Lifestyle

Matt Smith of Midland leads an extremely active lifestyle – far more than the average person. The 46-year old and his wife owned a gym for 13 years, and he still works as a personal trainer part time. When he is not working at the gym or at his full-time job as a realtor, Smith spends his free time training for his next race. As a competitive athlete, he has been involved in body-building, power lifting, triathlons and ultra-marathons.

Unfortunately, over time Smith began noticing some off-and-on hip pain and discomfort. A couple weeks after running a 100k race, the pain intensified. As time progressed, the flare-ups became much more frequent and severe. Smith began making provisions in his training to accommodate the pain in his hip joints. But changes in his training and activities did not help his symptoms. Even regular massages and foam roller work failed to alleviate Smith's stiffness and discomfort. He also tried yoga but found it to be incredibly painful. The instructor informed him that yoga should not be painful, and that such pain was indicative of a larger underlying problem.

X-rays performed on Smith's hips revealed the full extent of the problem – Smith had arthritis in his hip joints, and it had slowly worn away all of the cartilage so that the joint was bone-on-bone. In fact, the tops of his hip joints were extremely worn down because they had been rubbing directly on his pelvis for so long with no cartilage cushioning.

There was no question at this point that Smith needed both hips replaced. Upon learning this, he contacted MyMichigan Orthopedic Surgeon Ben Mayne III, M.D., to schedule his surgeries.

The first step for Smith was to participate in Joint Camp, a specialized pre-surgical program that begins with education about what to expect. "The instructions I received were really on-point," said Smith. Since he was already quite familiar with the way joints and muscles work, the staff customized his experience and preparation based on his individualized needs.

Both surgeries, done a few months apart, went smoothly and quickly. "The surgical experience was really easy," said Smith. For each surgery, Dr. Mayne used a newer anterior approach to reach the hip joints. This technique involves less tissue disruption, allowing for a quicker recovery. Each surgery lasted about an hour and a half and did not require general anesthesia. Shortly afterward, Smith was able to get out of bed and walk around with a walker and assistance from the surgical staff.

In both cases, Smith was able to return home the same day as surgery. On the fourth or fifth day after the surgery, he was driving again and going back to work. This was possible due to the innovative, less-invasive anterior surgical approach available through MyMichigan Health.

Now, Smith is back to an active schedule once again. "I run two to three days a week," he said. "I ran five miles on Tuesday." He is back to light but full weight-bearing exercise, and he rides his bicycle or spin bike three days each week as well. "There's no pain, it's just tight and takes me a little bit to warm up," he said. "I'm extremely happy to be pain-free and extremely happy to be active."

Smith also has this advice for other athletes dealing with pain in their joints: "Don't wait - go get looked at."

Those who would like more information about Dr. Mayne may visit www.mymichigan.org/mayne. Additionally, information about MyMichigan Health's comprehensive musculoskeletal services can be found at www.mymichigan.org/bonesandjoints.

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Call (833) 923-3444 for help in scheduling an appointment with a non-surgical musculoskeletal specialist or orthopedic surgeon.

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