When Vacaville resident David Woo first felt the pain in his hip, he figured he had just over exerted himself.
“It just felt like something wasn’t right. I figured I had pulled a muscle or something,” said David, 66. “But it just never got better.”
In fact, the pain was affecting his everyday life.
“I couldn’t ride a bike or even bend to tie my shoes,” he said. “It was affecting my golf and I couldn’t go on hikes with my wife.”
David was active in his younger years, playing a lot of sports. And he had torn a rotator cuff in his shoulder years before. So when his hip pain became unbearable, he called the doctor who had helped him with his previous injury: NorthBay Healthorthopedic surgeon Andrew Brooks, M.D.
“I knew him from that previous injury and so I knew he would be able to help me figure out what was going on with my hip,” David said.
“David had been doing all the right things,” said Dr. Brooks. “He exercised, took anti-inflammatories, but the pain was to the point where it was causing him problems in his everyday life.”
Dr. Brooks ordered an MRI to get a complete look at the problem. He found arthritis and a cartilage tear. Years of wear had destroyed the cartilage in the hip joint. When it was determined David wouldn’t benefit from arthroscopic surgery, Dr. Brooks recommended a total hip replacement.
“It had been two years of pain and I just thought, ‘It’s a deal, let’s do this,’” said David.
“He had osteoarthritis,” explained Dr. Brooks. With this type of arthritis, wear and tear causes the cartilage — the hard, slippery tissue that covers the end of bones where they form a joint — to break down. It’s different from rheumatoid arthritis, a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, beginning with the lining of joints.
Dr. Brooks did the surgery in February 2022 and for David the process and the outcome couldn’t have been any better.
“I couldn’t be happier with everything that happened, from pre-surgery, through the surgery and recovery and physical therapy, it was all just great,” he said.
“The staff, nurses, therapists, everyone was great. I can’t say one negative thing about my experience.”
Following surgery there was a recovery process that took 10 to 12 weeks and David admits some impatience on his part — wanting to get back to his active life.
“That’s not uncommon,” said Dr. Brooks. “I see healthy, active patients who are highly motivated to return to activity as soon as possible but there is still a bit of a recovery period and I want my patients to do so safely to get the best results.”
Today, David said he is comfortable playing golf again, and happily says “I can tie my shoes again!”
And he has advice for others who may be considering a hip replacement.
“I highly recommend it,” he said. “If you do not have much pain, it may be OK to live with it but for me, it got too severe. Getting the replacement changed everything for me. And Dr. Brooks was great. I would have no hesitation at all in recommending him and his team. The staff, nurses, therapists, everyone was great. I can’t say one negative thing about my experience.”