By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: October 2012
Mike Hardesty can now ride his motorcycle again.
Many people think joint replacements are only necessary in one’s later years, when joints begin to show signs of a lifetime of wear and tear. But joints can be irreparably damaged at any age. Mike Hardesty of Claremore is living proof. “I was in my 30s when I injured my hip in a softball game,” Mike recounts. “The injury left me with constant pain and a bad limp.” When these two things did not go away, Mike visited a doctor and had an MRI, which revealed a grim prognosis: that he would eventually need to have a hip replacement.
“I put up with the problem for several years,” says Mike, who relates that things became so bad, he was taking 20 to 30 aspirin a day just to be able to function and sleep. “Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore.” Mike had seen advertisements for Dr. Ronald LaButti and decided to call for a consultation last summer.
“I already knew what he would tell me – that I needed the hip replaced,” said Mike. “But I really appreciated that he was upfront and straightforward with me right from the beginning, and didn’t try to force anything on me.”
Once Mike decided on surgery as his best option, Dr. LaButti relayed exactly what he could anticipate during his experience, from how much time off work he would require to how much pain he could expect during recovery. “He was honest with me about the pain that would come afterwards,” Mike said. “But he said the outcome would be better.”
And it was. For Mike, some results were immediate. “I remember waking up in the hospital,” he says, “and noticing right away that the nagging pain in my groin and hip I’d been living with for years was gone.” Dr. LaButti had predicted anywhere from six to twelve weeks off work, and Mike returned to the job in seven. When he did, his employees observed the amazing changes. “Everyone noticed my limp was gone,” he recalls. “Now they all say I walk faster than anyone in the shop – and I don’t have to pull myself up and down the stairs like I did before, either.”
It has been a little over a year since his surgery, and Mike now embraces a whole range of activities that were impossible before, both major and seemingly minor. “I no longer have to have help putting my shoes on,” says Mike. “And I only take aspirin for headaches.” Mike purchased an above ground swimming pool to help him with rehabilitation, and he can easily get up and down the ladder, which is something he could not have done before the surgery. And best of all, he can ride a motorcycle again. “I bought a big old 900-pound bike,” he says with a grin. “There was no way I could ride before or even hold it up.”
Now that he’s become accustomed to a normal existence again, Mike wonders why he put off the surgery for so long. “I tell people, ‘If you’re having pain, don’t wait so many years and let it deteriorate like I did,’” he says. “I should have visited Dr. LaButti a lot sooner. My life is so much better now.”
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