Get Back in the Game

Watch Mario Gomez's Interview

Get Back in the Saddle

Mario Gomez

Mario GomezWhen avid horseman Mario Gomez decided it was time to do something about the painful osteoarthritis he was suffering in his hips, he searched for an option that would get him back to his ranch and back on his horses in as little time as possible. His hips had deteriorated to the point that he was bone on bone, and had been in a great deal of pain for almost a year. “I had been suffering for quite some time,” said Mario. “Once I decided to go ahead and have one of my hips replaced, I wanted something that was going to allow me to recover as quickly as possible. I wanted to get back to my life!”

Stuart Kozinn, MDMario traveled the country, looking for this type of procedure and a surgeon who could perform it. What he eventually found was that he could have all of this - right here in his own backyard. He found orthopedic surgeon and Medical Director of the Total Joint Center at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Stuart Kozinn, MD, who told him about the latest technique for total hip replacement – the muscle-sparing anterior hip approach. “When I met with Dr. Kozinn, he told me about this new procedure and assured me that not only would I have a full recovery, I would most likely have a better quality of life than if I didn’t have the surgery,” Mario recalled. “He said with this approach, I would be in and out of the hospital. That sold me. I told him if he could do that, then I’m on board!”

So Dr. Kozinn used the anterior approach to replace Mario’s first hip at Scottsdale Healthcare, and the experience was even better than Mario could have asked for. “Everyone was amazing – the nurses, the physical therapists and of course Dr. Kozinn,” said Mario. “Even more amazing was my recovery. I was up and walking around the hospital floor (with a walker) only two hours after my surgery, and I drove myself home from the hospital the very next day!”

The anterior approach allows the surgeon to reach the hip joint through an incision in the front of the hip, versus the side or back of the hip with traditional hip replacement surgery. This allows the surgeon to work between two major muscles without having to detach them from either the femur or the pelvis. Because these muscles are spared, there is less trauma to the patient, resulting in a more rapid recovery.

Mario was walking without the assistance of a walker or cane just a few days after being home, and was back on his horses just 30 days following his surgery. “Once I realized how quickly and easily I was recovering, I immediately called Dr. Kozinn and scheduled to have my other hip done.” He had the second hip replaced a little over a month later, with the same speedy recovery as the first time and just as anxious to get back in the saddle.

“My physical therapist told me it wasn’t the riding that was a concern – it was throwing my leg up and over the saddle to mount the horse,” Mario said. “He said as soon as I could do that comfortably I could go riding again. I was so anxious to get back out there that on day 30, I figured I’d give it a try. I swung my leg up, mounted that horse and off I rode, never looking back!”

Today Mario is back in the saddle, completely pain free, and owes it all to his anterior hip replacements, Dr. Kozinn and Scottsdale Healthcare.

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