At 53, Ron Ivy was "too young" to give in to the gnawing pain and discomfort that was affecting every aspect of his life. It began during his morning commute, when it hurt to get in and out of his car. It continued throughout his day, working at his desk as a petroleum engineer in Houston, Texas.
"It hurt to get out of my desk chair," says Ron, "I'm normally up and down a lot, and it got to where I would hardly get up from my chair. It hurt too much to get up and walk around."
"I was very active," says Ron, who for the past 35 years had been going to the gym every morning to lift weights and do elliptical work. The former competitive tennis player also played either tennis or racquetball in the mornings and golf in the afternoons. He walked through fields to bird hunt, and went wade fishing in the bays.
"I had to stop doing all those things," says Ron. "It wasn't comfortable. I gained weight. Everything was going in the wrong direction. I had to get it fixed."
After being diagnosed with bone-on-bone arthritis in both hips, Ron spent several years researching options before finding a surgeon who was having success with a new, direct anterior total hip replacement. This minimally invasive technique approaches the hip from the front without detaching muscles or tendons — helping to restore greater mobility.
Ron went into the first surgery with a walking cane. When he woke up, the arthritis pain was gone. "I had felt so bad, you cannot believe it," says Ron.
By that afternoon, he got up to walk to the bathroom on his own. The next morning, he walked a half mile around the hospital's large, circular walkway. "It felt so good," said Ron. "I had not walked a half mile the whole prior year."
On Friday morning he walked again, took the only pain pill he needed for his entire recovery, and headed home, where he continued to do additional exercises for two weeks. A week after surgery, he went back to work. Three months later, he had his second hip replaced. The results were the same as the first hip replacement.
Within two to three months Ron was back on the golf course, working out in the gym every morning, boating, vacationing and generally getting his life "back on track."
"People used to ask me what was wrong: You have problems walking. Is it your hip?" recounts Ron. "Now, if you didn't know I had two artificial hips, there's no way you could ever tell by the way I walk, get up from my chair, get up and down off the floor, lift weights, dance, play golf or anything else. It's been a remarkable story."