Because of my orthopaedic care, I can return to being a world champion adventure racer, San Diego City firefighter and motivational speaker.
After I did a number of years of Ironman distance triathlons, I transitioned into endurance racing which I did for years, then switched over to the sport that became the love of my life–adventure racing. I’ve done about 40 of them now over the past 15 years and we’ve been world champions several times and that’s probably how I ran out of cartilage. I discovered that I had stage four osteoarthritis in both of my hips, which was a compete shock to me, I thought I had pulled a hip flexor or something.
It took a few weeks for me to wrap my brain around the fact that I was this perfectly healthy athlete to all the sudden somebody who was having hip replacement. Your first thought is I think my grandma had one of those. I started coming around to realizing that this was the only way to get my life back, and it wasn’t the end of my athletic life, it was the only way to get it back. When I started thinking of it in that positive direction this was the way to get back in the game that’s when I started getting pretty motivated to get it done.
I was basically back to my normal operations in about six weeks and I’ve been riding every other day when I’m off shift. When I’m on shift at the station I have a dry land kayak that I paddle and I do the stair climber. I’m able to basically do sets of stairs, running up and down sets of stadium stairs and after six months I was back to running. With doctors like Dr. Thomas Schmalzried at the Joint Replacement Institute at St. Vincent Medical Center, it can be fixed.
Robyn Benincasa and Dr. Frederick M. Azar, President of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, talk to reporters about the importance of mobility and how individuals living with pain could reclaim their life. (September 26, 2014)
Ortho-Pinion: Bearing Surface Options in Total Hip Replacement
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