You can live a pain-free life! A former Chatham Ortho patient, Rich Gebhart, shares his story of how he went from having terrible hip pain to living a pain-free life. Thank you for sharing your story, Rich!

“Several years ago, I began experiencing a nagging pain in my left hip. Initially, the pain was neither severe nor persistent, so I chalked it up to the physical stresses of my job as a paramedic/firefighter for almost 21 years and just getting older.

Over the course of the next year or so, the pain became more intense and more constant. Some days, after particularly busy shifts, I could barely walk. But the worst part was what it did to my sleeping habits. The pain increased tenfold whenever I was in a lying position, and over the counter medications would not touch it.

Eventually, I made my way to Dr. Holtzclaw who quickly discovered I have a condition called avascular necrosis. Over the next two years, we treated it with injections every 4-6 months. They worked like a charm for a while, but eventually they stopped working. By that point there was not much left of the ball of my left femur and it was time for surgery. I should also point out that Dr Holtzclaw’s assistant, Risa, was wonderful during this time. I would not have made it as long as I did without her.

As far as my surgical experience, it could not have been better. Everyone involved from Dr. Holtzclaw to the surgery center staff were fantastic and super friendly! The most significant thing for me was how much effort everyone put into keeping my wife in the loop even though she could not be in the building due to Covid-19. Dr Holtzclaw even called her personally to let her know I was ok, and the
surgery went fine. That meant a lot to her, and me.

I was back home by 2 p.m. the same day. PT went well (Derek and Maddy were pretty awesome too), and I was walking without the use of a walker or cane within four weeks, and back to work in eight. I do not need any pain meds anymore (over-the-counter or prescription), and I sleep like a baby. I am back in the gym again too! I cannot say enough nice things about everyone involved, especially Dr Holtzclaw.

Thanks to everyone,

Rich Gebhart”

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