Hip Replacement Surgery Puts Duffer Back on the Green
When Jack Argila of Mount Sinai decided that the pain in his hip was constant and too severe to continue to treat with pain medication, he resigned himself to having total hip replacement surgery. It wasn’t an easy decision and he didn’t make it without great thought and deliberation.
“I put off the surgery because I didn’t want to push for an operation I didn’t need,” said Jack. “You get to a point where you just need relief. I was trying to hide the pain with medication and a cortisone injection helped for a little while, but not completely.”
Once Jack decided the only option was a surgical one, he did his research. He learned that there were two approaches to hip replacements: posterior, or through the buttock, and anterior, with the incision in the front of the hip. The anterior approach requires less impact on muscle and offers the possibility of a faster recovery.
“I started talking to people who recommended doctors in New York City, but I called them and couldn’t get a consultation appointment for months,” said Jack, who added that the pain was too much to wait. “I got a recommendation for a doctor on Long Island and booked the surgery.”
Jack scheduled the surgery with some reluctance because the surgeon was going to use the posterior approach.
Then, he got the call from Maryann Goodman, RN, orthopedic coordinator from Mather Hospital. Goodman had Jack’s phone number because he had registered for one of Mather’s bimonthly Total Joint Replacement information seminars. Jack told Goodman that he had already made plans for his surgery. Before hanging up, she asked if he was happy with his decision.
“I told her that I wasn’t, but that I couldn’t find a doctor on Long Island who did the anterior approach. She said Dr. Michael Fracchia, [chairman of Mather’s Orthopedic Department] did. I said if she could get me an appointment quickly, I would listen.”
Jack was impressed with how knowledgeable and helpful Goodman was, especially when she arranged for him to meet with Fracchia soon thereafter. Jack’s surgery was August 21, 2012.
“Prior to the operation, I could hardly walk. Getting in and out of the car was painful and I definitely couldn’t play golf,” Jack said. “The next day after the surgery, the hip pain was relieved and three months later, I had already played golf three times.”