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El Camino Hospital and Me

Rick & Poppy’s Story: Hip Replacement

"A few years ago, I started having problems with my hips and my knees," recalls Rick, a high school teacher from Mountain View, California. "Unfortunately my job required a fair amount of walking and climbing up stairs to get to my classes, so I was often in pain."

Rick especially hated fire-drill days at school because they involved a quarter-mile walk, and Rick could barely manage that.

Rick was diagnosed with osteoarthritis, a disease in which the protective cartilage on the ends of the bones wears out over time, making movement of the joints difficult and painful. Although still quite young (just 54), Rick was becoming more immobile with each passing month. Eventually, Rick found that he could no longer climb stairs at all.

"I finally told myself I needed to do something."

In the summer of 2011, Rick had both hips replaced (first the left, then the right) at El Camino Hospital's Orthopedic Institute. Then, in January 2012, Rick had his right knee replaced as well.

Rick's orthopedic surgeon, Bernardo Ferrari, MD, used the anterior approach for both hip replacements, which Rick says was "absolutely incredible." The anterior approach is a newer method of hip replacement, which typically results in a faster recovery for patients. 

"I walked on my new hip just two hours after surgery."

After Rick recovered from his surgeries, he convinced his father-in-law, Poppy, to see Dr. Ferrari as well.

Poppy was planning to have hip surgery near his home in Oakland, about an hour away from Mountain View. But with a three-story home to navigate, recovery wouldn't be easy, so Rick offered to have Poppy move in with his family and have the procedure at El Camino Hospital.

Poppy had the anterior hip procedure in the summer of 2012.

"The two of us actually had a little competition going," jokes Rick. "And Poppy won by standing on his new hip just one hour after surgery!"

Rick is now one of El Camino Hospital's biggest fans.

"The whole hospital team is fantastic," says Rick. "The pre-op process lets you know exactly what to expect, and after surgery there are four or five people taking care of you, which is great."

"I'm so happy to have my mobility back. I used to be a big hiker and biker — now I am doing all of that again," adds Rick, who says that Poppy is back to his favorite pastime, gardening as well.

Rick and Poppy, thanks for sharing your wonderful story!