By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: March 2011
Greg Meyer, at his home in Calvin, OK, can now enjoy traveling, hunting and fishing without the hip pain he endured for so long.
As a retired helicopter pilot and instructor in the military, Greg Meyer knows what it feels like to be under pressure. A few years ago, Greg began feeling a new kind of pressure he thought he could deal with: hip pain. He noticed that if he sat for a long period of time, he would feel discomfort in his left tailbone. When he walked for very long, his left leg wouldn’t stride normally and soon would begin hurting. “At first, the pain was intermittent. It felt like a dull throb, similar to a toothache, in my hip,” Greg explains. “My wife Linda and I do a lot of traveling, and last summer when we went to Australia and Malaysia, I found myself needing to sit down often. Suddenly, it dawned on me – a part of my body was wearing out.”
Like many people faced with a hip replacement, Greg fought the pain for a long time. “We tend to believe we will just get over it. After about two years of thinking that way, I decided to take action. The pain was seriously affecting my quality of life.” Greg visited a chiropractor, who recommended he look into finding a surgeon. “I began doing research online, searching for ‘hip replacement’ and ‘orthopedic surgeon.’ I looked at every webpage and read every profile I could find. I ended up on Dr. LaButti’s website and was very impressed.”
Dr. Ronald S. LaButti is an orthopedic surgeon with Central States Orthopedic Specialists in Tulsa. “It caught my eye that he is fellowship trained and that he taught at OSU,” says Greg. “But the primary motivator to schedule an appointment with him was his vast experience. If you are going to have a procedure like this, you want someone with intelligence and the muscle memory that comes from experience. Dr. LaButti has that.”
Greg also liked that Dr. LaButti included his dogs on the website: yellow Labradors Henry, Jesse and Lucy. “It was a little thing that appealed to me because I have a yellow lab too,” laughs Greg. In fact, hunting and fishing with his lab, Max, was one of the things Greg missed most; his pain had prevented him from enjoying those hobbies for a couple years.
Greg’s first appointment with Dr. LaButti was in August of 2010, and a pre-operative physical followed in September. “Soon after, I scheduled another appointment because I had a lot of questions. Dr. LaButti spent about 45 minutes with me, answering all my questions and explaining what would happen before, during and after the surgery. He sensed that I had concerns, and he gave me all the information I wanted.”
Dr. LaButti performed the total hip replacement on Tuesday, October 5. Greg was back home by Thursday evening. “From the moment I woke up, the pain was gone. It was truly amazing.”
Physical therapy followed immediately after; Greg began walking with a walker the day after the operation. Two weeks later, the walker was becoming an inconvenience and he used it less and less. When he returned for his four-week checkup after the surgery, he was walking with a cane. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, Greg used the cane only occasionally as a precaution. By January, his strength was returning and his muscles were rapidly rebuilding.
Greg believes the key to his swift recovery is that he followed doctor’s orders. “I did everything Dr. LaButti told me to before and after the surgery. It’s important to be proactive in your own recovery.”
Now Greg couldn’t be happier. He recently returned to college to fulfill his dream of obtaining a degree in history. “When I used to walk around campus, my hip would tire so quickly. That problem is gone. I’m no longer tired and achy; I’m fun to be around. I truly appreciate Dr. LaButti and I’m so pleased with the whole experience. The only way it could have been better is if it didn’t have to happen at all. I had the best possible hip replacement experience.”
Greg is looking forward to spending time outdoors again, and he and Linda will be back in Europe for most of the summer.
People with joint problems tend put up with the pain a lot longer than they need to. There is fear of the unknown, and many simply attribute pain to the aging process. “Trust me,” says Greg, “it’s better to do something about it. My quality of life is immeasurably better.”
For more information, visit www.hipandkneedoc.com.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.