Dave MacDonald, Hip Replacement Patient

Dave MacDonald - Midland, MI

"It just feels so good now to do things I haven’t been able to do."

Total Hip Replacement Is Winning Play for Coach

When Coach Dave MacDonald had his second total hip replacement, he found that Orthopedic Surgeon David Bortel, M.D., used coaching techniques of his own to encourage a great outcome for surgery and recovery.

"I feel like a new person now. I'm pain free," said Dave, 61, "but my first hip replacement, in 2005, was a challenge. When I started having problems with my other hip, I made excuses and put off seeing the doctor."

As three years went by, the pain and problems increased. After retiring from teaching in 2007, Dave continued to coach the Dow High Chargers. He brought a chair to practice and would get up to coach, but afterwards he could barely make it to the car. "I developed a bad limp, and it hurt me to climb stairs," he said. "I couldn’t lift anything that weighed very much."

Dave's wife, Jean, finally persuaded him to see Dr. Bortel. "I was glad she did. He told me a lot has changed with six years of continuous improvement," Dave said. "He was so good about explaining things that I felt much more prepared for this surgery. He and his office staff kept me informed and told me what I needed to do."

Dr. Bortel had Dave continue exercising to increase his strength and add a daily protein drink for about a month before surgery.

Dave had surgery in one of the six new operating rooms at MyMichigan Medical Center Midland. “Jean was able to sit with me before the procedure and then track my code number on an electronic board in the waiting room to see where I was in surgery,” he said. “When they pushed me to my room, she was already there waiting.”

In the prep room before surgery, Dave appreciated Dr. Bortel sitting down for 10 minutes to go over the game plan, particularly the medication that would keep Dave from being nauseated, something that had troubled him after the first surgery.

“It was kind of like a pep talk in coaching. It reassured me and I felt more relaxed and ready for the surgery,” Dave said.

Dave did so well after the Monday surgery that he was able to go home Tuesday night after a therapist evaluated his ability to walk with crutches and manage stairs. On Wednesday, he started two months of outpatient rehabilitation with Physical Therapist Neil Sauer, D.P.T., at MyMichigan Medical Center Midland.

I was so impressed with Neil. He really put me to work, and I was glad he pushed me like that. I could just feel the benefits of what he was doing," Dave said.

Once Dave finished therapy, he and Jean took a break for a trip to Chicago.

"We did a lot of things I couldn't do last summer because I couldn't walk anywhere," he said. "We walked to the stadium to see a baseball game. We walked around a couple of museums. It just feels so good now to do things I haven’t been able to do."

When the team started workouts in August, Dave was ready. "I'm enjoying it and I know I'm smiling a lot more than I was a year ago. I've had three or four people talk to me about my experience, and I've been glad to recommend Dr. Bortel. I like him a lot and feel real relaxed with him. I told him, 'I should have been back sooner.'"

Dave's story is just one example of how MyMichigan’s advanced technology and physician expertise can help people live active, pain-free lives. For help finding an orthopedic surgeon, call MyMichigan Health Line at (989) 837-9090 or toll free at (800) 999-3199.

Find an Orthopedic Specialist

For help finding the right orthopedic specialist for you, call MidMichigan Health Line at (800) 999-3199. 

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