Dr. Derek McMinn
My Journey to Birmingham Submitted on 9/29/10
I am a slender, physically active 60-year old female. Five years ago, after a grueling tennis singles match, I felt an unremitting, stabbing groin pain as I returned home. My visit to an orthopedic surgeon confirmed that "a hip replacement was in my future." I did everything possible to change a fate I was convinced couldn't possibly be mine. As the years went by, I became more and more disabled. I was in chronic pain, even at night. My osteopath informed me about the resurfacing procedure. Later, a dancer and pilates instructor gave me Vicky's website. In the spring of 2010, severe knee pain sent me to a second orthopedic surgeon, who determined that the knee pain was from my hip, and a hip x-ray told him that I needed a hip replacement. When I asked about resurfacing, he replied, "Not for you."
This initiated my journey back to Vicky's website and eventually to the "Ask Vicky" feature. My email was answered within hours. Vicky said she was so glad I contacted her. She asked if I would like my x-rays to be reviewed by the top hip doctors in the world in order to get their feedback. Within weeks, I had heard back from four who would resurface me. I wanted a BHR because of its track record. I was impressed by Derek McMinn's 3,000+ resurfacings and his overall results, particularly with women in my age group. When I was offered a surgery date three weeks away, I decided to go to Birmingham.
I have major medical health insurance with Blue Cross, but they denied any coverage for my trip to England. My thought was that you only have one right hip in life, and if I was going to have hip surgery, I wanted it done by the best surgeon I could find, cost be damned. I plan to file a written appeal of my insurance company's refusal to pay for any of my costs.
I had gone from a state of denial about my need for hip surgery, to contacting Vicky, to having a firm surgery date in less than three weeks. Most of the planning was done on the internet. My first face-to-face meeting with Mr. McMinn was days before my surgery. I was surprised that I was asked to sign a consent form allowing Mr. McMinn to perform a THR if he felt, during surgery, that my bone quality would not provide for a good result with a BHR. This was a small possibility, and I felt McMinn would do the best thing for me.
When I awoke from the surgery, I was told that all went well; I had received a BHR! The first night was a bit rough, but every following day was better. The second day post-op, I walked with my crutches. I had a very pleasant private room, three doctor visits a day, two physical therapy sessions each day and a wonderful nursing staff. I was discharged after six days.
My rehab consists of range-of-motion exercises three times a day and daily walking. I love the walking. I walked without pain from day two. I am now 2 1/2 months post-op. I hike two to three miles a day. I swim every evening for 30 minutes. I have no pain and great ROM. I'm so happy. Thanks to Vicky and a great surgical team, I have my life back. You can reach me at
RBHR 7/20/10 McMinn
Cal and I spent three weeks at the Premier Inn in Birmingham, on Hagley Road. Of course, I was in the hospital six nights. It's a budget hotel, but we recommend it highly. The restaurant attached to the hotel is very good (we're both into healthy eating), and the buffet breakfast in particular is a great value. The hotel is a short walk to McMinn's consulting office, and a little more than a mile away from the hospital. We didn't rent a car. Cal walked between the hotel and hospital a number of times; it's an easy 30-minute walk though a pleasant residential area--he walked it, I didn't. We used the local buses a lot (multiple times every day), although there isn't a direct line between the hotel and hospital; it's a complicated connection. Otherwise, the hotel or hospital can call a cab for you; it's about a $10 fare including tip. The hotel can be booked on the internet at Booking.com. Based upon our experience, I would definitely reserve the "triple room for 2 adults and 1 child." We looked at the "double disabled room," thinking that it might be appropriate, but the "triple room" was much better. There is a separate fee for internet access.
The night before we flew out of Heathrow, we stayed at the Premier Inn at the airport. It's labeled "M4/J4," signifying the road junction where it's located. There is a shuttle bus to the airport. You can reserve this hotel on the above website also.
We found it easier and cheaper to fly from San Francisco to London and then take a bus to Birmingham. There is a bus station at Heathrow.