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Total Hip Replacement Does Not Mean The End of Your Dancing


By Bob Pratico


My right hip had been deteriorating over the course of several years due to a genetic defect ("cam impingement"). The 2 years before surgery I had been on prescription Celebrex in adidition to having to take prescription narcotics a couple of nights a week to get to sleep. I was wearing an ice pack on the hip during practice and would dance through the pain at competition. I was also limping pretty much all the time.


On April 8, 2014, I had total hip replacement surgery on the right hip by Dr Will Kurtz in Nashville. This amazingly gifted surgeon replaced my hip in a 45-minute direct-anterior minimally-invasive surgery, cutting no muscle or tendons ... while I was awake. Here is a picture of me walking normally (no cane or walker) less than 24 hours after surgery.  I was released after one night in the hospital with no activity restrictions and was dancing 3 weeks later. Two months later, Debbie and I did an exhibition  - the first time I really wrung out my new hip to maximum potential (a picture is here). It couldn't have gone better. The best part was seeing a spectator's jaw hit the floor after the performance when she heard someone else mention I had a total hip replacement two months earlier.


Three months out from surgery, I was not able to tell that I have an artificial hip as it feels just like my other natural hip. My dancing is better now as I find I can do things with the new hip that I haven't been able to do in years (i.e., I can go much lower in a same-foot lunge with Debbie; the first time I did it, she exclaimed "Wow!")


Then out of the blue on Jun 25, I got a call from the hospital in Nashville (St Thomas) where the hip replacement surgery was performed. They asked to send someone to Huntsville to shoot video of us dancing and to interview us for a story. They were particularly intrigued that we're going to the Amateur World Championships in Paris this Dec. I had told Dr Kurtz just before they wheeled me into the O.R. that this was his chance for glory; I guess he took me up on it.


I was expecting someone to show up with a home movie camera. But when the reps from the hospital showed up to shoot the story, it was two television-production professionals with a lot of expensive equipment. They spent almost 3 hours shooting video and interviews. And here is the video they shot of us to showcase their Joint Replacement Center.


To God be the glory!

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