In June 1983, when I was 38 years old, I required a left total hip replacement to stop severe pain and stiffness resulting from a congenital hip disorder. At the time, hip surgery was a far riskier and complicated undertaking. For a time, my left leg felt longer than my other leg. Eventually, that feeling subsided and I became satisfied with the result.
In October 2005, I fell and fractured my pelvic bone that was supporting my prosthetic cup. I was unable to stand or walk and had intense pain. I had been feeling some discomfort in my hip months prior to the fall. After the fall, pain became disabling and I could not walk. I was admitted to Holy Cross Hospital and diagnosed with a fractured acetabulum. The most frightening news was that the prosthetic cup had dislocated into my pelvis. The orthopedist on call felt this was “such a complicated problem” that only Dr. Leone had the requisite skills to operate.
Dr. Leone explained that the pelvic bone was significantly compromised from advanced osteoporosis and from the wearing out of the old prosthesis. The fall resulted in the upper half of the acetabulum separating from the lower half causing a “pelvic discontinuity.” It would require fixing the fracture and revising the entire old hip replacement. Getting the fracture to heal would be the real challenge because the bone was already so deficient.
I felt comfortable and confident with Dr. Leone. So did my daughter and son-in-law who are both medical doctors. They know personally of Dr. Leone’s exceptional skill and outstanding reputation. He spent time with my family and me and discussed what needed to be done. He outlined various scenarios that he might encounter at surgery and described how he would handle it. He allowed ample time for questions and was readily accessible to all family inquiries. At surgery he was able to stabilize my fractured pelvis using a plate with screws. He then placed a special “revision” cup that would heal to my bone. After the operation he informed me that all had gone well.
Just three months after surgery, I was able to return full time to my responsibilities as a teacher of young children. Remarkably, I have also returned to the gym and pool. Incredibly, I am able to work out easier than before my fall.
I feel so fortunate to have been under the care of Dr. Leone, a truly exceptional physician. He returned me to an active and fulfilling lifestyle at the age of 66. I’m still active at 70, something I would have doubted immediately after my fall.
Thank you, Dr. Leone from my family, my grateful school children and especially me.