Dear Dr. Leone,
I enjoy hiking, and spend some time each summer in the Berskshire mountains of Western Massachusetts. The most challenging hikes there go up Mount Greylock, and there are a number of approaches. This being Massachusetts, however, and so very egalitarian, one can also drive to the summit, where there is a monument, and a lodge. I however, have never ridden up or down-hiking Greylock for me is an annual rite of passage, and I did it even as my hip continued to deteriorate.
A year ago, however, when I got to the top of the mountain, I was in serious pain. I realized that I couldn’t be sure of getting down safely. I called my partner Mark, and he came to pick me up. That was when I decided I had had enough.
Flash forward a year. Not only did I get up and down Greylock with ease, I took the most challenging trails, and added to them by doing a loop involving taking a summit trail. I felt great both that day and the day afterwards – not sore in the slightest. In fact, I sent my sister Barbara Carmel (also recently your patient) a text from the summit: “On top of Greylock. New hip works great”.