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Happy Hipster

Many of you probably know I am a bonafide Hipster! And today I am celebrating 2 years post total hip replacement! Every year I send my surgeon a picture and video to commemorate the day and to say once again THANK YOU! He always provides a reply saying something like he wishes all his patients were more like me.


On my first post-op follow up appointment I wanted to hug Dr. Shriwise... I was so happy. I asked him how it felt to have so many happy patients who were so pleased with his work? I could tell immediately by his facial expression that was not exactly the case. He shared how the vast majority of his patients are obese, insulin resistant, out of shape, smoke, drink and are just not physically fit. He mentioned patients like me were exceedingly rare like 1 in 25 and almost always ex military or professional athletes. And... with the majority the surgery really doesn't work for long... and "It's always my fault" lamented Dr. Shriwise. Indeed the story he painted was not one of happy, grateful patients but... of unhappy, unsatisfied, complaining fat asses.


As for me I knew something was wrong with my body by the time I was ready to leave the Army at 26 years old. I had joined the Army at 17 and completed 5 years on active duty and 3 years in the Army reserves. Around the age of 25 I began to have a constant dull ache running down the front of my thigh from groin to knee. I assumed it was just normal soreness from all the running I was doing at the time. But when I mentioned to my Doc during a routine physical I had this constant dull pain... he immediately said "that is not normal". Imaging showed I was a hipster candidate by the young age of 26! My hip was destroyed.


Due to my young age and the proven lifetime of prosthetics in 1995 it was decided I would forego a hip replacement and try to live with the pain. Something I did for over 20 years. With the help of an NSAID prescription of daily diclofenac. The NSAID worked well for me and I had no reactions to it other than comfort for my joints. But by the time I was 47 it became clear the NSAID was not helping as much...by this time I was starting to have a permanent limp and was losing sleep to the pain.


Fortunately current day prosthetic technology has made great advances. The titanium and polymer hip I have doesn't even have an expiration date on it because they have not had one wear out yet! This comes mostly due to advances in polymer creation... where the arrangement of the carbon bonds is created using radiation. This manner of creating the polymer (my new cartilage) provides for a super strong cross linked polymer which basically stays together under continuous use! And I do put it to use!


So when you hear the word "hipster" instead of thinking of the spoiled children of wealthy boomers with an annual latte budget bigger than the average person's annual household budget... remember the other "hipsters!".

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