One Hero’s Total Hip Replacement Journey

Cleve Carroll spent 20 years as a deputy sheriff and 10 years in the military. One night, while on patrol and pursuing a suspect, he took a fall and injured his hip. The resulting trauma, combined with his rapidly advancing arthritis, sidelined him from work and many of the things he enjoyed doing in his personal life.

Not long after his fall, Cleve could hardly even bend over to put his shoes on. Finally, he decided it was time to do something and he scheduled an appointment with Travis B. Van Dyke, M.D., a board-certified odrthopaedic surgeon with Orlando Orthopaedic Center specializing in sports medicine and joint replacement of the shoulder, knee, and hip.

Cleve and Dr. Van Dyke worked together to develop an individualized treatment plan to reduce inflammation and swelling while avoiding the need for surgery. When all of the conservative, nonsurgical treatment methods failed, Cleve elected to undergo a total hip replacement surgery with Dr. Van Dyke.

More than 300,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the US, and the surgery is said to be one of the most successful operations in all of medicine.

“Being a younger man, Cleve was worried about his options – be they surgical or nonsurgical,” Dr. Van Dyke explained. “After going over X-rays, we determined direct total hip arthroplasty would be the best option.”

Orthopaedic surgeons recommend total hip replacement surgery for several reasons, including:

  • Hip pain that inhibits a patient’s ability to perform everyday activities, like walking or bending
  • Hip pain that persists even while resting
  • Hip stiffness that inhibits the patient’s ability to move or lift their leg
  • A lack of relief from hip pain even with anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy or walking supports

Cleve is grateful for the treatment and advice he received from Dr. Van Dyke.

“The biggest thing for me is that [Dr. Van Dyke] gave me quality of life back. I can walk and jog and get back to normal activities I used to do prior to having the issue with the hip,” he says.

“The thing I like most about Dr. Van Dyke is his bedside manner and how inquisitive he was about my experiences,” says Cleve. “The most impressive thing to me is that he listens. He never interrupted me.”

What Should Patients Expect from Total Hip Replacement Surgery?

Travis B. VanDyke, M.D. - Orlando Orthopaedic Center

Travis B. VanDyke, M.D. – Orlando Orthopaedic Center

During a total hip replacement surgery, the damaged bone and cartilage is removed by an orthopaedic surgeon and replaced with prosthetic components made of plastic, ceramic or metal. The procedure takes approximately two hours and requires general anesthesia, meaning patients are not able to drive to or from the surgery site. Once surgery is over, patients are transported to the recovery area and will released as soon as possible. Some patients may qualify for an outpatient hip surgery, meaning they can return home the same day as the procedure; however, for those patients unable to have the procedure performed in an outpatient surgery center, they will have to spend a night in the hospital before being released.

In most cases, patients who undergo total hip replacement surgery experience a great reduction in hip pain and a dramatic increase in their quality of life – a fact Cleve was skeptical of at first.

“Dr. Van Dyke told me that the pain in my hip would be gone as soon as I woke up, and having lived with it for so long I just kind of said, ‘Yeah right’,” Cleve remembers. “But then when I woke up the pain was really gone. Getting the total hip replacement was the best decision I’ve ever made in my entire life.”

Dr. Van Dyke says Cleve has progressed quickly and is on his way back to being able to live life again without restrictions.

What is the Recovery Process for Total Hip Replacement?

“I’m happy to say that at two weeks post-op Cleve was walking without a walker or even a cane,” says Dr. Van Dyke. “He’s got a smile on his face now that he can do the things he hasn’t been able to do in months or even years.”

Every patient can experience a different recovery timeline after surgery and no two outcomes are exactly the same.

“I was almost in tears when I came back for my first check-up,” Cleve laughs. “All I could say to Dr. Van Dyke was, ‘Thank you so much for giving me my quality of life back.’”