I was 65 years old when I could no longer function due to the pain from my hips. I visited my family doctor and X-rays showed one hip was bone-on-bone and the other nearly as bad. I had always been physically active; jogging, hunting, fishing, water skiing, camping and working outdoors. I could no longer walk without significant pain.
I sat helplessly and watched my wife walk our dog and mow our lawn. A trip to Walmart was only bearable if I used the cart for support and walked very slowly. When camping, I would sit enviously watching others walking and riding bicycles. To summarize, I couldn't do anything that I enjoyed.
In the two to three years leading up to my surgery, I was experiencing symptoms but ignored them. I would have days without experiencing any significant pain. That would lead me to believe everything was fine and I didn't have a physical problem. I was only fooling myself, the symptoms got progressively worse until I was in pain everyday.
I visited Dr. Howell and we discussed my options for surgery. I had my first total joint replacement on my right hip on October 28th and on my left hip 6 weeks later on December 9, 2015. In both cases, I was up and walking the day of surgery and was released from the hospital the next day. I experienced minimal discomfort from surgery and medicated mostly with non-narcotic pain relievers. Because I had the anterior approach I had no requirement for post operative therapy and no restrictions such as crossing my legs, bending over, sitting at 90 degrees, etc.
Since my surgeries, I am able to do everything that I once took for granted. I not only walk my dog but, I run with her as well. I water ski (pictured below), hunt, climb ladders, mow my lawn and do everything I once did without any discomfort at all. As Dr. Howell said, "that's why we did the surgery." I honestly can say that my hips feel as they did 10-20 years ago and with the same flexibility and movement as then.
My hospital experience, both times, was quite pleasant. The entire staff was very professional and provided the best care possible. Most of all though, Dr. Howell is the best! Not only is he an outstanding surgeon, but I've never met a more genuinely caring doctor. Dr. Howell stopped by my room several times after each surgery. I have never had a doctor more attentive to their patients' well-being. I feel fortunate that he did my surgeries.
My recommendation for anybody experiencing hip problems like I did is have the surgery. They won't get better without and the pain becomes more persistent until you sit enviously watching others enjoying themselves. I highly recommend Dr. Howell and have done so to friends and acquaintances.