Dr. Michael Clarke
Judy Lilley LBHR12/2/09 Dr. Michael Clarke
I am 52 years of age, remarried in August 09 and have 2 grown children. During the past three years, my difficulty walking has become increasingly more evident. I would have co-workers ask why I was limping. My internist said that I was too young to have arthritis, so the pain I had at night and sometimes walking and getting in and out of the car was just the normal aging process. About 18 months ago, she finally had an x-ray taken of the hip that I identified as most painful. It indicated moderate to severe arthritis. She had me take some supplements.
JudyBy six months later, my walking and other daily activities had become severely restricted. The doctor then sent me to an orthopaedic doctor who identified at the first meeting that I would probably need total hip replacement for both hips, starting with the most painful, although nether appeared on the x-ray to be more or less impaired. The orthopaedic gave me an injection in the bursa, followed by an injection directly into the hip using x-ray to guide it. I was also sent to physical therapy, although the doctor didn't believe that that would give me any relief.
Picture taken one week after wedding 8/09
I happened to be at a conference in Albany, NY when I saw a billboard referring to hip resuracing. When I researched it online, I discovered that Dr. Michael Clarke practiced in Syracuse, NY, only a half hour from my home in Pulaski, NY. When I next visited my orthopaedic in Watertown, NY, he agreed that given my age and concern for range of motion, that the resurfacing might be an option for me. He referred me directly to Dr. Clarke back in the Spring. I am now 10 days post left hip resurfacing. While, I was amazed to be released from the hospital on Friday after having surgery last Wednesday and I have amazingly little pain, I don't think I've had the results that I see from some of the posters on the surfacehippy site. In this entire experience, I'm frustrated that I had to find my own solution, when there is a doctor in such close proximity. It appears that the medical community is not well educated concerning this procedure. My mom visited one of her doctors over the summer and told me that she discussed the matter with her doctor who advised her that if I were his daughter, he would advise against such a procedure and go with the traditional total hip replacement.
Thank you again for establishing this site.
Update July 3, 2010
My husband and I are coming upon our first wedding anniversary. When we started dating five years ago, I was very active, taking care of a home, teenager and one acre of land (all of which had to be mowed) independently. Over the course of the four years leading to the wedding, I became less and less able to walk on
trips we took or walk the dogs in the evening; I couldn't get up and down to explore places we'd visit and I definitely had some pain that often prevented me from sleeping well, meaning I didn't want to do as many things.
I had left bhr in December and right bhr in February.
I can put on my socks and shoes independently.
I can put on pantyhose independently.
I can walk up and down stairs, alternating feet, wearing (relatively) high heels and carrying objects.
I'm not the first one to poop out on walks.
We're going kayaking this afternoon and I won't need help getting in or out (I'm pretty sure, anyway).
Life is good.
Dr. Clarke, lbhr 12/09, rbhr 2/10
April 25 was my one year anniversary of hip resurfacing. I am 58 and have always been active and involved in sports. For many years I ran 2 to 3 times per week (just one to two miles). I also play baseball in some tournaments during the summer. It's not that I am an exceptional athlete or runner, it has just always been extremely important to me that I could do these things. Most importantly I love to be out with my kids and now two young grandsons, running around, playing catch or whatever. During 2006 I gradually realized I had a bad hip. I did extensive physical therapy and later had two cortisone shots. Two well respected orthopedics recommended hip replacement. As I researched replacement surgery the consensus information I got was you can do a lot of things after hip replacement, but on every list of things not to do were running, baseball, basketball, etc.
I began researching further and did some internet searches such as “alternatives to hip replacement”. I soon came across Birmingham hip resurfacing and Dr Clarke’s name. I sent Dr Clarke an email and to my surprise he responded within one day to have me set an appointment. At this point I was limping badly. Friends and co-workers really felt badly for me.
After the surgery I was religious about following the hip precautions and working hard at physical therapy. The first four weeks were tough but then things got better quickly. I was very anxious to start running but waited for my 6 month follow up visit. At that point Dr Clarke said I could do whatever I wanted now (just start gradually). That day I walked out of his office and ran a lap around his parking lot to celebrate.
I am currently planning to do a 5K run with my co-workers on May 15. I am registered in a baseball tournament in Cooperstown NY in July. But again, most importantly I have regularly been out with the kids, running around throwing the football, baseball, basketball, etc. I am thrilled and thankful that I found Dr Clarke and had the resurfacing surgery. I would be happy to speak with people who are considering it.
Larry J Sheeler, CPA
Linda Ward - BHR April 30, 2006, Dr. Michael Clarke
Dr. Clarke asked me to contact you with my story of hip resurfacing. Here goes.
I had my left hip resurfaced by Dr. Clarke on April 30, 2008 using the Birmingham hip. Prior to that I had been in physical and aqua therapy for nearly a year, attempting to retain range of motion and strength. My recovery after surgery was very quick. I walked without a cane in less than 3 weeks, and mowed my lawn with a self-propelled walking mower at 3 weeks. All the time I was diligent about my exercise program from my PT. The progress was amazing with noticeable improvement from one day to the next. In a month I was able to walk around my neighborhood (a little over a mile), something I had not been able to do in a couple of years.
In fact I was so pleased with the success of my left hip that I had my right hip done on July 23, 2008. Since it was not as debilitated or weak that side bounced back even faster! The surgery itself was very quick, about an hour, and because of my fitness on that side I noticed ability to move right away that was not present on the previous hip.
For both operations I stayed in Community General Hospital, where the care was outstanding. On the orthopedic floor they have many private rooms, and I was fortunate to be assigned to a private both times. The follow up care through Dr. Clarke was also top notch. My questions were always answered, and everyone was easy to talk to.
I am a teacher, and plan to return to my classroom ready to roll in September. Can't wait to do my job without pain.
Long story short, if you are considering this procedure, don't wait until things are terrible in your joints. Also try to prepare your body with exercise prior to surgery.
You will find it helps you to recover faster and with less pain. I feel blessed to have Dr. Clarke with this groundbreaking procedure, in the area, although I would definitely travel to obtain this care.
Update Januuary 5, 2010
Loving life in my new hips!. Skiing, yoga, zumba...what can't I do??? Gotta love life!