This Hip Was Made for Hiking
March 23, 2021
Inspiring Patient: Jim Beattie
Surgeon: Dr. Thomas Aleto
Diagnosis: Arthritic hip
Treatment Plan: Hip Replacement
Favorite Hiking Areas in Missouri: Graham Cave State Park and the Danville Wildlife Area in Montgomery County
In the summer of 2018, Jim Beattie and his wife planned a trip to the Grand Canyon for April of 2019. Their plan was to whitewater raft into the Grand Canyon. They would then participate in a hike out of the Grand Canyon. This hike would be a 10-mile hike with a 5000 foot elevation on the Bright Angel Trail from the bottom of the canyon up to the South Rim.
So, when Jim started to have hip pain in 2018, he needed answers. "The discomfort got to be too much, and I knew I had to get it checked."
"Many normal functions became painful and difficult. I needed assistance to put on socks. I couldn't even wash my feet in the shower because of the pain and difficulty bending over."
"I was having trouble doing the things I liked to do. I wanted to play with my five grandsons, but even that was painful. Negotiating steps and stairs was very problematic."
Jim was referred to see Dr. Tom Aleto, (of the Columbia Orthopaedic Group. He was seen in the office in November of 2018. He told Dr. Aleto the trouble he was having with his hip. He was examined, x-rays were taken, and an MRI was performed.
Jim was diagnosed with a very arthritic hip. Dr. Aleto recommended that he have his hip replaced.
Jim's first concern was, "What about my trip? Will I have time to recover and rehab enough for the late April adventure?" Dr. Aleto said, if Jim was committed to his rehab, he would still be able to take that trip.
Jim had his hip replaced in early December of 2018. The surgery went well. The deep pain resolved quickly after surgery. He had some post-surgery soreness, but his hip felt better relatively quickly.
Jim decided to let his trip be a motivating goal in his recovery.
"I wanted to push it. Dr. Aleto was well experienced, and he knows the process to recovery. He and his staff were encouraging all along the way." Dr. Aleto had a rather simple rule for Jim: Let pain be your guide.
By Super Bowl Sunday, which was about two months after his surgery, he was able to reach six miles on the treadmill. He had no pain in his hip, but he knew he needed to keep strengthening his muscles.
"Preparation information provided pre surgery was so comprehensive, there were no 'surprises' associated with my recovery and the resumption of various physical activities my wife and I enjoy in our retirement." Jim commented as being fully prepared before and after his surgery by the COG surgical team and staff.
Then, the late April trip arrived, and Jim knew he was ready for it all. "The whitewater rafting into the Grand Canyon was epic." When he started on the hike, he knew there would be no going back. It took eight hours, but he had no hip pain. "The hike from the river's edge to the canyon rim was an unforgettable and beautiful experience."
That adventure trip, with the whitewater rafting and hiking, was a benchmark in his recovery. And it was a total success!!
"I am back to living and doing the things I love. I bike on the Katy Trail. This spring I kayaked on the Buffalo River in Arkansas with my two older grandsons. And my younger three grandsons can play with Grandpa again! My wife and I enjoy outdoor activities. We also look forward to cross country skiing this winter after missing that activity the last two winters."
Jim's new hip wasn't just made for hiking, but also for biking and kayaking and, no doubt, for cross country skiing too!!
Dr. Aleto is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon who specializes in treating degenerative conditions of the hip and knee. This includes nonsurgical treatment as well as joint replacement surgery when needed.