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Rachael: He can’t run when we play tennis. It gets me really sad.
Matt: Oh, I am definitely broken.
Dana: It’s like living with an older man. My dad’s more active than Matt is, and in a lot less pain.
Rachael: Sometimes I feel like "oh, this hurts," and then I realize, hey I shouldn’t be complaining because my dad has to go through this constantly.
Matt: You know, in a healthy functioning hip there’s a certain degree of cartilage, which is lubricant, which allows your bones to rotate without hitting each other, and my cartilage has worn away completely on the inside, so the bones actually start grinding against each other and it hurts. Let’s go, Jacob.
Dana: The man I married was biking and swimming, doing triathlons, doing marathons, we were out active all the time and we can’t do any of that.
Dr. Kenneth Roth, Internal Medicine: Most athletes don’t look for sympathy, his self-esteem and a lot of his ego was built upon the activities that he did with a passion for such a long period of time, and when you lose that, you lose a part of yourself.
Matt: One of the worst is when I’m teaching, I’ll fall in front of a group of high school kids, which is humiliating; it makes you feel old and incompetent.
Rachael: He had to give up surfing a while ago, and that’s been really, really hard for him.
Matt: This winter, I surfed one day and I could not move afterward. I went to the doctor and he said, you know, you’ve got the hip of a 65-, 70-year-old man. The things that I loved are being taken away.
Dr. Joseph Jankiewicz, Orthopedic Surgeon: Matt developed arthritis in his hip and right now, the best option would be hip replacement surgery.
Mary Margaret: Oh, hi, good, we’ve been waiting for you guys! How are you?
Mary Margaret: Nice to see you, my name’s Mary Margaret, I’m one of the nurses here. I’m going to help.
Matt: My first reaction was, I’m never going to have, you know, hip replacement surgery. I mean that’s a very, I think normal reaction when you’re in your 40s, but the pain that I have is the advanced form, so I just decided to do it.
Dr. Jankiewicz: In Matt’s case, he didn’t have any large trauma to his hip, he never dislocated it, he doesn’t have any problems with vascular disease, it’s just a genetic predisposition. Everything’s set up downstairs.
Matt: He is exactly who you’d want as a doctor. He looks at my X-rays and he goes, “You’re in a lot of pain, you need a hip replacement.” He’s very confident and I went, “Wow, I’m in the right hands.”
Dana: He really needs to have this done. We had to drive pain pills to school for him yesterday because he was in so much pain.
Matt: I’m just kind of overwhelmed.
Mary Margaret: Are you?
Mary Margaret: Yeah. You know what? That’s normal, that’s normal. We’re going to take very good care of you.
Matt: I love you.
Rachael: I love you. Good luck. This is a good day, so.
Rachael: And don’t worry.
Rachael: Just take a nice nap.
Dr. Jankiewicz: What we want to do is put an artificial hip in, in exactly the same position as the natural hip using a minimally invasive two-incision technique. Through the front of the joint, we split the muscle and put the socket in and through a small incision in the back; we’re able to put the stem in. The advantage of this approach is that you have a very stable hip and the risk of dislocation is very, very small. Using the navigation system, we’re able to tell where our implants are going within a degree. Just making sure the stem’s straight. It looks perfect. When I’m putting the socket component in, I’ll actually see on the screen the computer-generated image of that socket. Right now we’re going to find the center rotation of the hip. It’s telling us that we have brought him down a millimeter or two, so we basically reproduce his anatomy. Everything looks good.
Matt: Oh, he is beautiful. Hi!
Family: One, two, three! Cookies. One more. Happy birthday, dear Dad, happy….
Matt: Completely, utterly, without pain for the first time in five or six years. Well if it was miraculous, that would mean I’m the only one, but I think that this is how it works. I feel better surfing, first time I paddled out, I just paddled in the ocean, and then the next weekend did better, and then last weekend I did, the surf was big and I could surf, and surf pain free. I’m back, I’m definitely back. Every time I walk up the hill from Blacks, that’s when I realize how healthy I am. I’m walking up the hill, there’s no pain.