Sliding Home to Recovery

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Joint Replacement
Sliding Home to Recovery

Strike one...both hips and legs throb with severe shooting pain. Strike two…hips begin to stiffen and movement is limited. Lack of mobility and pain become so severe, Chad strikes out and heads to the bench indefinitely.

For nearly 25 years, Chad Goyette dedicated most of his spare time to the softball field catching fly balls and hitting home runs, but no curve ball surprised him more than the one his own body was pitching.

“I began experiencing pain in my hips and lower limbs, but I continued to play softball even when the pain grew worse,” says Chad. “I sought out chiropractic therapy to treat what I thought was a muscular issue, but nothing would alleviate my pain. When I stopped being able to make certain moves, I knew I needed to schedule an appointment at Long Beach Memorial."

In search of the best possible care to treat the unknown cause for the pain in both of his hips, Chad met with Douglas Garland MD, medical director, MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Long Beach Memorial. After a series of x-rays, Dr. Garland identified that Chad was suffering from severe osteoarthritis in both his left and right hip – a common form of arthritis that causes bones to rub against each other due to the breakdown of cartilage that cushions the ends of bones.

The MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center (JRC) at Long Beach Memorial offers a comprehensive joint care program and support for patients that require hip and knee replacements. With state-of-the-art technology and dedicated care team, the JRC provides patients with pre-operative education about medications, side effect management and physical therapy to encourage them to remain active during their hospital stay and at home for faster recovery times.

“Most people tell me after it’s all done ‘I didn’t think I could do it’, but I trusted you and everything worked just like you said it would,” says Dr. Garland. “When you’re doing something new you have to have confidence in your physician and yourself. Our pre-op education is such a wonderful confidence builder, most of the patients come away from it knowing what to expect and knowing they can handle it. What has really changed about surgery is the preparation and getting patients through the recovery — we emphasize that we’re on the move.”

Despite now having a proper diagnosis, Chad faced another fastball. Unlike other patients at Long Beach Memorial that need hip replacement surgery, Chad became one of few patients at the MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Long Beach Memorial to undergo a bilateral hip replacement surgery to replace both hips at the same time. “I had a lot of people tell me that I’m crazy to tackle such a procedure, but the bilateral hip replacement surgery was the only procedure that would work for me,” says Chad. “I didn’t have a 24-7 caregiver to help me with my recovery and I couldn’t take time off work, so having both hips replaced at one time just worked for me.”

“Before the surgery, Chad was walking in a squatted flexed position,” says Dr. Garland. “His legs were internally rotated and it was extremely painful for him to walk. A few hours post-surgery, his legs were straight, he was walking and we were helping him look forward without looking down at his feet.”

With the use of a walker and support from his care team, Chad was up and walking the halls of the JRC recovery floor, Monday afternoon, a few hours after surgery that replaced both hips! On Tuesday he climbed stairs, Wednesday he practiced getting in to and out of a car, and by noon he was discharged to go home.

“My legs were knotted up because of the arthritis pain in my hips,” says Chad. “I was unable to move my legs due to knotted muscles, but when I woke up from surgery it was the first time in four years that those knots were gone. Being able to climb stairs or get in or out of a car became simple by comparison to how I was used to living. I was really stupid for trying to hold on to the heavily damaged parts of me and I feel so much better that I made the decision to have both hips repaired at the same time.”

Four months post-surgery, Chad is able to get back his life, and he no longer has to sit at home, fearful that pain will start up faster than it subsides. “I’m getting stronger daily and I know that it’s just a matter of time until I am 100 percent. Everybody who knew me pre-surgery is amazed on my continued improvement. I’m walking straighter and far swifter than anybody ever expected. I can’t thank the care team at the MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center enough for pushing me and encouraging me to achieve this level of success.”

Healthier and open to life’s new possibilities, the bases are loaded and Chad’s up to bat, ready to hit a grand slam to recovery.