Brad Watts was not what you would call your garden-variety hip replacement candidate. At just 52 years old, the owner of Poulsbo’s Valley Nursery had lived with pain in his right hip for three years, which had progressed from occasionally annoying to persistent and agonizing. The pain caused him to limp and prevented him from working and doing the outdoor activities he loved.
“It was horrible,” Brad recalls. “It was hard to bend over, and I lost my ability to move around freely.” When he had to cancel an annual pheasant hunting trip, he knew it was time for surgery.
Brad suffered from severe hip arthritis. Conservative treatments, which included limiting his activities, anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone injections, had stopped working for him. “Brad’s range of motion and quality of life had deteriorated,” says Bradley Watters, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon with WestSound Orthopaedics in Silverdale. An evaluation showed Brad was a good candidate for joint replacement surgery, so Dr. Watters knew the time was right.
Expert care and pain relief
Total hip replacement surgery is a safe and effective procedure that involves replacing damaged bone and cartilage with prosthetic ball and stem components. Surgical techniques and technological advances have made the surgery even more effective, with more than 285,000 hip replacements performed in the United States each year. “A good artificial hip moves well, provides pain relief, and allows patients to get back to the activities they did before," says Dr. Watters.
Impressed from the outset by well-organized schedulers and staff, Brad’s experience only got better from there. “The pre-op went great and the aftercare was sensational,” he says. “I’m 6’4”, and without me even asking, a nurse got me a bed extension so I could spread out more comfortably. I couldn’t have been more pleased with my treatment at Harrison.”
Brad spent just two days at Harrison Bremerton, where he took his first steps toward rehabilitation. “I won’t say the first two weeks were easy, exactly, but every day got better,” he says. “I did physical therapy, which included the bike and the pool, and after about a month I was resuming everyday activities again.”
According to Dr. Watters, it generally takes about six to eight weeks for patients get back to the strength, gait, and endurance they had prior to surgery. “Our goal is to have patients say it feels like their own hip,” he says.
For Brad, that goal has been met. “The only time I ever think about it is when someone asks me how it is,” he says. “It feels great to be back to normal again.”