Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year. New Hips. New Me.

That’s my mantra for 2010.

The hips Mother Nature provided me have exceeded their warranty. They’re shot. Worn out. Or, as they say, I’m on my last leg---or legs in this case. Now, like many Oklahomans, I’m destined for hip replacements.


What Happened?

The first hint of trouble came about 15 years ago. I noticed when I’d begin my morning jog that my right hip had problems getting with the program. It would protest with small stabs of pain. I ignored the discomfort because it tended to go away as I ran. I just figured the hip needed a little time to warm up.

But then, it started hurting even when I walked. At that point I knew something wasn’t quite right.

The Diagnosis

I headed to a local orthopedic specialist who slapped the X rays up on the wall and said, “There’s your problem.”

My hip sockets aren’t normal. Simply put, they aren’t shaped the way they’re supposed to be shaped. It’s a condition called hip dysplasia and it was there from birth. Turns out to be a hereditary problem in my family.

Now What?

The surgeon told me I’d likely eventually need hip replacements. But, he advised me to hold off as long as I could. He said the implants they had available at the time would last only eight to ten years---which could possibly mean I’d need multiple hip replacements in my lifetime. That wasn’t a good option.

So I Learned to Live With It

For more than a decade, I modified my activities. I gave up jogging and began to walk for exercise---until that became too painful. Then I switched to an elliptical trainer, which is a good weight bearing exercise without the impact of taking steps. When that became uncomfortable, I started riding my bike around Lake Hefner. Now that hurts.

Are There Alternatives to Surgery?

You bet. And I’ve tried most of them. From acupuncture to chiropractic, from medication to physical therapy. But the bottom line remains the same: the cartilage is gone from my hip joints. That’s what’s causing the pain.

As it was explained to me, my hip joint should have a smooth surface, similar to the rounded top of a light bulb. Mine look more like popcorn balls. Early onset arthritis---fueled by the dysplasia--- had eaten away the surface.

Even knowing that, I still resisted hip replacements following the earlier advice that I wait as long as possible before having surgery.

In the meantime, I watched advances in technology and knew the lifespan of the implants themselves had improved. I also knew that the surgical technique was changing. So, I waited.

The Final Straw

My discomfort has continued to worsen. During the past six months, normal, everyday activities became a challenge. I could no longer bend over to pick up things from the floor. I couldn’t sleep at night because of the pain.

At work, it was sometimes so uncomfortable that when I’d have to stand to anchor in front of a set, I’d sit on a stool during the commercial break until it was airtime.

It was on one of those days that I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to walk across campus for my son’s graduation from law school in May.

The time had come.

Surgery

When the decision was made, I began researching surgeons, techniques and even the material used in the implants. I want mine to last the rest of my life---which I hope is several more decades.

Today, on my 35th wedding anniversary, my husband, Will, and I are celebrating by starting the steps to get the first of my two hip replacements. You know the drill. Pre-surgery exams and tests. Blood work. Insurance forms.

The surgery is scheduled for mid-week.

Instead of a traditional anniversary gift, Will told me his morning I could have my choice: a ceramic hip or metal.

What a romantic.

You can reach Linda at Linda.Cavanaugh@kfor.com

51 comments:

  1. I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH AVASCULAR NECROSIS IN SEPT. 2009 @ AGE 38. I HAD A LEFT HIP REPLACEMENT ON DEC 28TH @ 8AM. I WISH YOU ALL THE PRAYERS AND SPEED IN YOUR RECOVERY. OUCH OUCH OUCH!I CANT BELIEVE WE ARE GOING THROUGH THIS TOGETHER. GOD BLESS YOU. MUCH RESPECT, JENNIE EVETT
    jesusandjennieloveyou@yahoo.com

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  2. Hang in there. My Mother is 89 years young, and this past July had to have hip replacement, and it came out three times. So they did surgey on her three times in one month to get it done right finally. She is doing good now, and I know you will be soon. We miss you and have been wondering where you were.
    Joyce and Sam

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  3. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! We wish you the best in your recovery and know you will be glad a little later. I had a knee replaced and was right across the hall from Bob Barry Sr.
    We miss you on the News, but get some rest and let others take care of you.
    Mary and Bob Austin

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  4. Linda,I went to Mcbride Clinic at age 49 because I could not continue with the pain. 1500 mil of Ibuprophen could not help me but mine was old sports injuries. At least it is not a total knee because rehab is really something else. I do not know if I could have made it without the support of all the little old ladies. They were wonderful, God Bless you and beleive it or not you will make it like Big Bob did.We will say our prayers for you...Steve Trent.....Enid

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  5. Good luck with your recovery, i had right hip replacement july of 07 at age 47, my hip joint was messed up from arthritis and i was in so much pain i could barely get around. When i showed up at the ortho's office crying and a death grip on my empty pain med bottle he said we need to take care of this right now, 4 days later i was in surgery. Had an 8 day stay due to excess drainage and blood transfusions, my surgery lasted 3 1/2 hrs. I was in a lot of pain for awhile but i'm so glad i got it done and over with. I love my new hip ! And it comes with a warranty ! lol Anyway, hope everything goes well for you, it gives us our lives back ! Thank God for our talented and skilled surgeons !!

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  6. Linda, I just heard about your hip replacement on the 4 news tonight. So sorry you have to go thru this dear lady. I know you have done your reseach and will do well with your recovery.

    I am needing knee replacemet surgery, but for now the Dr. did A scope and two menicus repairs to post pone the knee surgery. I have heard that the hip replacement does much better than the knee replacement if that is any consulation. (SMILE)

    You are in my prayers and by the way "Happy Anniversary".
    {Another Linda} Carnes

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  7. We wish the very best for you and tell Will to hang in there. In 2008 my husband had both his knees replaced. One in April and the other in Sept. and it is very important to have a loving spouse by your side to take care of you. He was off work until March of 09. He did great and is doing GREAT. He like you was dreading it but, after several years enough was enough. We also have been wondering where you have been. With a great attitude like yours you will have a great recovery. I have a story of my own to share with you at another time hopefully it will brighten your day. May God Bless You each and every day.
    Kathy B

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  8. Linda, we are on a similar journey. Today is exactly 3 weeks since my total left hip replacement. I had back surgery last December thinking it would fix the pain in my thigh but it only fixed part of the problem. I went to my orthopedic doctor last April to set up a date to have my knee scoped and found out my hip had no cartilage left and I would need a replacement. Great News! HAHA. I endured the pain as long as possible, bending over, stairs and sleeping were the worst. I finally made an appointment with the surgeon I chose to perform my replacement and set a date. My surgery was on a Wednesday and I was home by Saturday. Everything has progressed faster than I expected and I hope you experience the same progress. My pain is Gone! I am looking forward to February to resume my normal activities. Best of luck with your surgery and rehab. If you have any questions about my experience, please contact me at mesighd@gulistan.com. I'll be praying for you.

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  9. Happy New Year and Happy Anniversary! My mother (in her early 70's)had hip replacement surgery the end of April 09 and it took her several months of Therapy but was well worth it. She has not had any pain with the exception of the healing and therapy process and she is actually in south Texas walking the beaches! It was a very long journey and with prayer and faith, all turned out well. I wish you the very same success and prayers will go up for you during this difficult time. Hang in there and take it "VERY" easy and always follow doctors/therapist orders and you are going to be perfect again! God Bless and please take care! Look forward to following your progress!
    Terry in SW OKlahoma.....

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  10. Linda, just heard on the news about your hip replacement. I hope your surgery goes well. I am having the knee scope and shaving done next week in hopes of putting off replacement. As with you it just started out a little pain here and it just has got to the point of nothing taking the pain away. I have Lupus and I guess I just thought it was something I had to bare. I pray you have a fast recovery. We miss you on TV. Catherine

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  11. I HAD A TOTAL HIP REPLACEMENT AT MCBRIDE AT THE END OF JUNE O9, AND I AM READY FOR MY 6 MONTH CHECK UP. MY PHYSICIAN INFORMED ME THAT I MUST EVENTUALLY HAVE THE OTHER HIP REPLACED. RECOVERY AND PHYSICAL THERAPY IS PROGRESSING VERY WELL. I ENJOY AN OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE AND WALKING HAS ALWAYS BEEN A LARGE PART OF MY EXERCISE REGUMENT.I AM ANXIOUS TO GET BACK INTO A SPRING TROUT STREAM. I WISH YOU SUCCESS IN YOUR SURGERY AND RECOVERY. MY PRAYERS WILL BE WITH YOU DURING THIS TIME. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! MY WIFE AND I WILL CELEBRATE NUMBER 51 ON JANUARY 25,2010.GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU! WILL FOLLOW YOUR PROGRESS. ELMER & BETTYE

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  12. Hope you heal quickly from your surgery! You've been my favorite anchor since you came on when I was about 14yrs old. I've admired and looked up to you over the years! God bless you and make a quick recovery!
    Take Care!

    Oklahoma City

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  13. Linda, you are a trooper, I will pray for your quick recovery!!!!! you sounded great on air tonight, hang tough sister. I have had the pleasure of meeting you and I have not truly met a nicer and more genuine person ever, you deserve to be out of pain. I am so happy for you and remember every day that passes is a day closer to enjoying your new life without the pain and limp. God Speed my friend, you are a true blessing to all of us here in Oklahoma. Becky

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  14. I have missed your smiling face on the newa. I'll be pray your surgery and recovery go smoothly. I know you'll be relieved when it's all over and you can be home again. Happy Anniversary. (I was once in the hospital for major ear surgery on my birthday. At least the surgery wasn't performed on my birthday.) You share the same anniversary as my Grand niece and her husband. Yesterday they became parents of a beautiful little girl.
    How wonderful that your son is completing law school. That surely has been a long journey for him You have to be very proud of him.
    Ruth

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  15. Two & half yrs ago, I had my first hip replacement by a Norman surgeon using minimally invasive techniques. I was 53 at the time. The surgery lasted about 1hr. Hosp. stay 3 days - home recovery (with the hip precautions up to 6 mos) was only about 3 weeks (I was driving after 2 weeks) My second replacement was 3 months later - much faster recovery. What I REALLY liked was the PT. Enjoyed it, actually. One yr. after my second surgery, I was floating down the Grand Canyon!! So, Enjoy you're freedom!! Good Luck!

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  16. Linda, your voice is so strong this evening, I hope it is a good sign of a speedy recovery. As I said earlier, I hope I can put off total knee replacement, but if I end up having to have one, I can only hope I can sound half as strong as you did tonight. Again, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hurry home. Catherine

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  17. I have watched you do the news on KFOR since before it was KFOR! We already miss you and wish you well. I have never had to have the hip surgery, but have a son who had to have both hips replaced at age 30. It was done at McBride in OKC and they are great. You described yours as looking like a piece of popcorn. His looked like clods or dirt, so a similar thing. Rest easy and use the pain meds.

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  18. I WAS WONDERING WHERE YOU WERE. WHEN I HEARD HIP SUREGERY MY EARS PERKED UP. I AM SCHEDULED FOR HIP SURGERY JANUARY 21ST AND I HAVE BEEN DREADING IT. MY PAIN STARTED LAST MARCH, MY KNEE WAS GIVING OUT. I FIRST WENT TO THE DOCTOR AND HE THOUGHT IT WAS MY BACK SO I WENT THROUGH ALL THAT TESTING. IT WAS NOT MY BACK. I KEPT TELLING THEM IT WAS MY HIP AND FINALLY THEY AGREED SO HERE I GO STILL NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO IT BUT JUST CAN'T TAKE THE PAIN ANYMORE. YOU MY FRIEND, HAVE MADE IT EASIER. JUST LISTENING TO YOUR VOICE AND HOW CHEERFUL YOU SOUND. I WISH YOU ALL THE LUCK IN THE WORLD AND CAN'T WAIT FOR YOUR RETURN

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  19. Linda, I have miss seeing your smiling face each night and am sorry you are having to go through the surgery. I wish you a full, quick and complete recovery. Also, you indicated you would be giving a report on the "new type of hip surgery" you had. I am eager to learn about it since I may have to have hip surgery in the near future. Best wishes and my prayers are for you. Bev

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  20. Linda - Best wishes for a speedy recovery, and much encouragement to Will and your family members as well. Thanks for so willingly sharing your experience with the viewers.

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  21. Happy New Year and Happy Anniversary!! I wish you a very speedy recovery and many many years on your new hips!!! I know the pain is hard to deal with right now, but I know you will be so happy you did it in the long run. Hang in there and be strong like I know you are! I have enjoyed watching you since I was a child. God Bless you and your family! My prayers are with you and your family. Stephanie D.

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  22. Linda, I wish you a speedy recovery. I have missed seeing you on the evening news. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Happy Anniversary and Happy New Year! Lynne, Enid

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  23. Linda, I wish you success in your hip replacements. I have had one due to avascular necrosis and am looking at the other hip in the near future. I think it is wonderful that you will be up walking so soon after surgery. My THR was in '06. At that time it was 6 weeks without any weight bearing what so ever. Iam so glad that advances have been made that will be so beneficial for you.

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  24. you go girl.. had one in norman 2 years ago.very, very apprehensive,like you,but less invasive procedure is the way to go.walked down the hall in about eight hours later!left the hospital in a day! NO REGRETS.

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  25. You are in our prayers for a quick recovery.

    God bless you Linda

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  26. Linda- I too am looking at a right hip replacement and would like to know about this "new" type of hip surgery. I want to do all the reserch on options and materials they can use now so as to only have it done once. I am 64 and I'm just waiting till 65 for better coverage. Didn't think I would ever look forward to Medicare till now, ha.

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  27. Dear Linda, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. You are brave and tough to blog so soon after surgery... but then that's you. Orthopedic doctors are amazing. So are you. Please take your time to recover.

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  28. I am 47 and was FINALLY correctly diagnosed with Congenital Acetabular Hip Dysplasia in Aug 09 and had a right hip replacement on Dec 9, 2009. I will also eventually have to have the left one done. I am doing great and so glad to be out of the pain that I've had for 18 years! My PT said my limping days are numbered!! Yay...can't wait!!! I have always enjoyed watching you on Channel 4 and am so happy for you that you will be out of pain also. I wish you a very speedy recovery and look forward to seeing you again soon!

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  29. Best of luck to you! I too am scheduled for hip replacement the end of this month. I would very much like to know where you are having your surgery. I have researched the minimally invasive procedure and am not having much luck finding information. Hope you will be traveling home today.

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  30. Have been diagnosed with AVN and will have hip replacement in February...shocked at how many have had this surgery and at such young ages. Linda, if you gave the info, where your surgery was and by whom, I missed it. Are you sharing that information? Hope your recovery goes well...keep us all updated.

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  31. Linda I need a right hip replacement too. Mine was worn out 10 years ago but I'm apprehensive though I have much pain with difficulty getting up/down from chairs, walking, plus I can do so little of what I once did. I would appreciate knowing more about your surgery as to who and where. I'm also concerned about the therapy afterwards. I'll be praying for your speedy recovery so you can attend your son's graduation with ease. Happy Anniversary.
    Vel

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  32. Certainly miss you on the news! I remember your "first" newscast and the "guys" trying to act like you weren't there! (Am I dating myself or what!?!?!) Great memories of how competence and intelligence will always win out! Good luck with your recovery...looking forward to your return!

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  33. Three cheers for Linda! It was great seeing you back at the anchor desk tonight! You did your usual excellent job. Take it easy, though. We're all with you. God Bless, Pam Henry

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  34. Thank you so much, for all of the information you have shared with us. Since my husband needs a hip replacement, you have made our lives much easier on making the right decisions. May God continue to bless you.

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  35. Linda

    I am 49 and need to have my 2nd hip replacement surgery in 5 years. I am very interested in the procedure you had. Do you know if there are any doctors in Oklahoma or Dallas who do that type of procedure? The first time I had it done I was not able to return to work (in an office) for 3 months and it was difficult. I am a single mother of a special needs daughter and work for a law firm. Those two things need a lot of attention and I can't afford to be "absent" for 3 months again. I would appreciate any insight you may have. Donna

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  36. Linda Cavanaugh here.
    Hi, Donna:
    To the best of my knowledge, there aren't any surgeons in Oklahoma who do the anterior approach---which is why I went to Santa Monica.
    There are some in Dallas but I haven't spoken with any Oklahomans who've used a Dallas surgeon.
    E-mail me at Linda.Cavanaugh4@aol.com and I'll try to get more sources of information for you.
    Best Wishes,
    LC

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  37. Thank you so much for replying to my post.
    As a single mom, I don’t think I could go to California but it certainly sounds like this procedure would definitely be worth the trip. My first replacement was done in Dallas as I lived there for the past 15 years so I could easily make the trip back to Texas if I could find a surgeon who does the procedure you had done and my insurance would cover. So many things to consider when you are talking about such a big surgery and also the potential time of recovery. I just can’t take 3 full months to get back to 75% like I did last time. I am just so happy for you that you were able to find Dr. Matta and have such a successful recovery. What a relief to both you and Will!

    I would appreciate any information you could share with me in regard to other surgeons who do perform this procedure. Additionally I am going to do as much research as I can possibly do on my own as well. The pain is getting worse each day so I am not sure how much longer I can deal with this.

    Thank you again,

    Donna

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  38. If you want to go to Texas, Google
    "texas anterior approach hip replacement"
    and a number of sites will come up.

    I was told to ask several critical questions before deciding on who would do the surgery:
    1) How many anterior approach surgeries have you done? (500+ was my personal minimum).
    2) What is your infection rate? What's the infection rate for the hospital where the surgery will take place?
    3) How many cases of DVT have you had? What do you do to prevent it?
    4) Do you use a general or spinal/epidural for the operation?
    5) How long will I be hospitalized?
    6) May I talk with one of your patients about his/her experience?

    Ask as many questions as you can. Write them down before you go in and, if possible, take someone with you to take notes.

    And, as with any surgery, the procedure is only as good as the surgeon doing it.

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  39. Thanks Linda. I have an appt next Friday with a surgeon that specializes in both the anterior and the posterior procedures. They are located in Plano, Texas and come with good recommendations. However, I am going down to interview them as much as they are going to be interviewing me. I am taking your list with me as well. I will let you know how it turns out. Wish me luck!!
    Donna

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  40. Linda

    I went to Texas on Friday and met with Dr. Barrington in Plano. He and his partner do the anterior and posterior procedures, thus my interest. I LOVED him. He has done over 1500 hip replacements, had a great bedside manner, was happy to discuss pros and cons and was also happy to tell me to lose 25 lbs. before my surgery to make the surgery and recovery easier on me. I would love to schedule the surgery with him today but the diet has now begun. I believe that I will probably be ready towards the end of May and in the meantime I am just trying to limit my walking distances and stairs! Thank you so very much for all of your advice. I was so depressed and now I am so relieved.
    Donna

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  41. Linda, Dr Charles Bryant M.D. at Integris Baptist Medical Center has been doing the anterior technique since last October.

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  42. Linda, Dr Jeff Duncan D.O. at Midwest Regional Medical Center is currently doing the anterior approach also.

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  43. Might want to check. Dr. Duncan told me he's only done two anterior approach procedures.
    Does he have the table?

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  44. I called Dr. Barrington at Plano and his office said he did not do the anterior technique at all. There is another Dr. there that does it. Dr. Barrington does the old fashion kind.

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  45. Linda, our family loves you and the other men there. We would love to have dish network but if we do we cannot get kfor as we live in Lawton. We choose kfor over any other programs. Love you all lots. God Bless

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  46. Dr. Barrington is with the Texas Center for Joint Replacement and he does the posterior approach which is just the opposite of the anterior which the other doctor in his office does. My surgery with Dr. Barrington is scheduled for May 27 which is a Thursday and I will check out and go home that Saturday morning. He has done over 1500 of these surgeries and in fact he had his nurse's hips (both) on December 27 and I saw him on Feb. 2 and she was getting around like nothing had ever happened.

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  47. Dr. Roger Emerson at Texas Center for Joint Replacement is the doctor that does the Anterior
    supine approach. He has been doing them for 5 years and now uses this approach on almost all of his hip patients.

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  48. Thanks for sharing your story to the online community. As I was looking for people who had had real experiences with hip replacement, your story proved to be a gold mine. However, I'm still searching about asr hip recall that's been going on for months now. Could you point out some links about this subject for me? Thanks.

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  49. Organized content is the best way to display or post an article, thank you for making it easy to digest your post.


    Oklahoma doctor INTEGRIS Baptist



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  50. Thanks Linda for sharing your story with us. Patient education is important to ensure longevity of the replaced hip and you're amazing with your research on hip replacement surgery.

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  51. This site is very beautiful so i like it and post my comments.

    Hip replacement surgery has been in practice for a considerable period of time. For sixty years hip joint surgery has been utilized to help people to walk again when injury or degradation of the body has occurred. Hundreds of thousands of individuals are mobile and taking care of themselves because of this ground breaking procedure. Now there is anterior approach hip joint replacement surgery that is a better way than the conventional hip joint surgeries that have been being conducted for so long.
    recovery from hip
    total hip replacement
    hip replacement
    hip arthroscopy
    hip replacement surgery

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