Pain in Mark Rody’s right hip was almost unbearable. The unrelenting ache had started in 2020 and eventually sidelined him from most of the activities he loved. Biking, walking – even elliptical training – were out of the question.
“I’ve always been in good shape and very active my whole life,” Mark, age 70, said. “But I couldn’t do any exercise at my health center, so I started walking. The pain just got worse and worse.”
A low point came when Mark found it almost impossible to walk to his car after watching a University of Notre Dame football game in 2021. He knew he couldn’t go on with such pain for much longer.
Physical therapy, medications offer first line of therapy
Mark talked with Neelam Patel, MD, his primary care provider at Goshen Physicians Family Medicine Middlebury. Dr. Patel recommended physical therapy first to see if Mark could get relief.
“That made it worse,” the retired engineer said. “I couldn’t get up out of a chair and walk to the kitchen.”
It was time to talk with a specialist. Mark met with Arjuna Cuddeback, DO, a board certified and fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon at Goshen Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. After evaluating Mark’s mobility and discomfort, Dr. Cuddeback recommended a cortisone shot to help relieve pain and inflammation in the joint.
“It helped for one day,” Mark said.
Cartilage cushions bones and eases movement in the joint
Arthritis, normal wear and tear, and all those years of competitive sports, like basketball and racquetball, had taken their toll on Mark’s joint. He no longer had enough cartilage to keep the bones from rubbing against each other. Mark was out of options except one – total hip replacement.
“The doctor told me, ‘We’re going to fix you and get you right,’” Mark said. “He really wanted to put my mind at ease.”
Rehabilitation after surgery helps regain balance, mobility and quality of life
More than 450,000 people decide to have hip replacements each year in the U.S. During surgery, the medical team replaces damaged bone and cartilage with prosthetic components. Nine out of 10 patients who had moderate pain before their first surgery reported mild or no pain after five years, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
“We want to get our patients back to doing what they enjoy most. Whether we use non-operative intervention, a surgical procedure or a combination of therapies, we tailor the treatment plan to fit the individual needs of each patient,” Dr. Cuddeback said.
Mark had his total hip replacement at Goshen Hospital in March 2022 and elected to go home the same day. Immediately after the surgery, he started on an at-home rehabilitation program. Mark relied on his own discipline to do the exercises every day, instead of traveling to the rehabilitation center at Goshen.
The results were way beyond his expectations. He was walking and riding a bike eight weeks after surgery. By his six-month checkup, he was healed up and back to his usual routine.
“Dr. Cuddeback gave me the Corvette of hip replacements,” Mark said. “I’m 70, but I feel like I’m 50!”
If you have ongoing hip pain, talk with your doctor about treatment options. Orthopedic specialists at Goshen Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine can diagnose the problem, create a custom treatment plan and get you moving again — pain free.