Dear Dr. Leone,
I wanted to take this opportunity to write to you regarding the recent total right hip replacement I had undergone and you had performed. As an otherwise active 53-year-old man, I simply want to thank you for everything.
By way of background, for years, I had been suffering deleterious symptoms secondary to my right hip degeneration that was perhaps a result of sports earlier in life. The changes to my bones were severe enough that my right leg was turned/pointed out and moving was very painful. When walking, I was lurching. I was constantly putting my weight on my other leg as any weight bearing was painful on the right leg. I at times could not reach my toes to clip my nails or even tie my shoes.
I had tried physical therapy, medication and even cortisone injections all with little temporary relief until they did not work anymore. I was initially told by a local orthopedic surgeon to ‘hold off’ from undergoing any surgical procedure until ‘after my 60th birthday’ to lower any risk of revision surgery; at that time, I had instead started the cortisone injections a few times per year for the next few years and would have to wait nearly a decade to undergo surgery if I had listened…
With limitations described above, I needed to remain mobile, even attending a spin class three to four times per week and being otherwise as active as I could. Long walks were no longer possible without enduring great amount of pain and limitation. With this in mind, if undergoing any surgery, I wanted to ensure that the procedure would not leave me married to a cane or walker but instead let me be active if not more active than I was without the pain and limitations of my condition.
So, I arrived at a point where something more permanent had to be done. My next step was to leave my then treating orthopedist and locate the best orthopedic surgeon in the area who specializes in what I needed; I needed a doctor who could understand my desire to be active, even more so than where I was at the time.
The funny story is how I found you.
Being an attorney, I did my due diligence by contacting a well-respected colleague who practices in plaintiff personal injury with a concentration on taking on cases concerning defective knee and hip surgeries and the appliances used in same. After explaining my situation, I asked “Are there any doctors I should avoid?”. Ironically, he answered “The list is too long so let me give you a few that I know you may want to meet with.” Your name was at the top of that list since that attorney who had an older sports injury was also your patient!
I had arranged for my initial consultation which was wonderful. It was educational, direct and compassionate. Diagnostics were done in radiology in conjunction with that visit. I felt confident in you and your staff from the first day we met. After examining me and reviewing the radiographic studies, you indicated that you believed that not only will I regain mobility over time, but structurally, my leg would be straight again. You made it quite obvious with a simple question: ‘You are a great surgical candidate and the likelihood with the new implants is low for a revision for you so why would you want to suffer now and for many years to come when we can correct your condition now?’ You explained the method of digitally/electronically aligning the leg angle, length, etc. for optimal results. So, we scheduled surgery.
I was able to stand on my leg right after surgery. Within three days, once home, I stopped using the walker. I never went to a cane. Instead, in less than a week I was walking two miles! I am now standing straight and feel taller as I am holding myself correctly now. It has only improved and continues to improve with time.
All in-home health care providers were astounded never seeing any of their other patients recover so quickly and well…they all asked who the surgeon was. The in-home health care providers were impressed on how straight and direct my gait was commented that the heel-toe movement was phenomenal.
I was driving myself by week three. That week, during the weekend, I walked six miles.
Six weeks post-surgery, I have just resumed spin and can tell you that mechanically my right leg does not go out to the right but is straight and the workout was, well, without pain!
Sure, I know I am still healing and have my limitations at this early juncture, but the difference from before and after are dramatic. I understand after discussing and meeting with your staff that it should continue to improve as surgery is still relatively recent and internal sutures will eventually be absorbed.
I am looking forward to the same and am optimistic that soon it will get to a point where I won’t even realize I ever had a hip problem.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to personally thank you for the wonderful job you did.
All the best,
Elliot J. Sokoloff, Esq.