From runner to patient: the story of an unusual hip replacement surgery

As a long-distance runner, our patient was used to physical tests, but because of the increasing hip pain over time, he already thought twice about each step. So when he learned that he needed a hip replacement due to advanced hip wear and tear, he was more than relieved. Ágnes Saághy Elam, who works as a researcher - true to her profession - examined all possibilities and finally voted for the Duna Medical Center and Dr. Zsolt Hegedűs. Now, a few months after the surgery, she is confident that she made the best decision possible.
From runner to patient: the story of an unusual hip replacement surgery

Regular sports and exercise have always been a part of my life. As a long-distance runner, the physical tests associated with sports were also a way of mental relaxation for me. I woke up early every working day to run the 9 kilometers along the Danube, which for me meant regular refreshment.

One morning in October, I first felt the pain in my right hip, which was different from the one I had known so well for years. I reassured myself that this is no different from the past, and then it will go away just as it came: a little relaxation, rubbing in a little ointment, other tried-and-true home practices. But I couldn't get rid of the growing pain either the next day or later. In the beginning, I only felt it during sports, but later the pain became constant: I couldn't sleep at night and lie on my right side. I slowly but surely lost my mobility. First, I had to give up regular training, then walking became painful, and later I thought about going to the coffee maker at home. Outwardly, I tolerated the situation with sufficient self-discipline, I did not complain, but inside, I bore the deterioration of my condition with increasing difficulty and impatience.

The X-ray examination in December 2016 showed a very advanced wear of the hip. It sounds strange, but I was relieved to hear the diagnosis. A friend of mine who is a traumatologist - who is also a runner - made an appointment for a prosthetic surgery to be performed in public care. I was calm because I had known him for a long time, I trusted him personally and professionally. I got an appointment for the surgery in June 2017. Despite taking increasingly stronger painkillers regularly, my gait rapidly deteriorated. In the end, I was already teaching while sitting at the university and my environment also affected my mood. It became clear to me that I couldn't wait for the remaining half a year until the surgery.

At the end of January 2017, I visited my family doctor at the Duna Medical Center for another matter, whom I have known for a long time and trust him to the fullest. He recommended that I meet Dr. Hegedűs. I should sit down to talk with him and get to know what he does for a living. From the first moment we met Dr. Zsolt Hegedűs, I knew that he would be the one to operate. He questioned me in detail and thoroughly and told me how long he has been dealing with hip prosthesis implantation and which method he learned in England and uses successfully at home. He explained the properties of the prosthesis suitable for me in every detail, showed pictures, and explained the principle of operation. It was especially convincing to me that he was able to provide correct information about the expected lifespan of the prosthesis based on international scientific data.

He provided accurate and thorough information about the procedure of the operation, the care after the operation and the expected length of the rehabilitation. I asked a lot of questions, because as a researcher it is important for me to get thorough answers to everything and to be as informed as possible about the task that awaits me. This is especially true when it comes to my health. I received detailed and comprehensive straight answers to my questions. Throughout our discussion, the doctor treated me as an equal partner.

At the end of our conversation, I knew he was going to operate. Several factors influenced my decision:

  1. The operating doctor's knowledge and experience, personality and convincing human credibility.
  2. A modern surgical method used by the doctor.
  3. The expected lifespan and load capacity of the hip prosthesis to be implanted is based on long-term results and a large number of surgeries.
  4. Shorter expected rehabilitation time compared to traditional surgical methods.
  5. Surgical, hygienic and nursing conditions provided by the Duna Medical Center.

My friends didn't understand why I choose an intervention that can't be called cheap over a free one?

My answer was:

  1. I consider investing in my health to be the best financial investment.
  2. I want to feel the joy of sports and running again, the freedom of movement.
  3. Because of my relatively young age, it doesn't matter when I will need to replace the prosthesis, 10 or 25 years from now.
  4. The length of the rehabilitation doesn't matter either, as I love my job and my students look forward to returning to the department as soon as possible.
  5. At the Duna Medical Center, I receive medical and hospital care that guarantees a full recovery.

And did I make the right decision? Two months after the surgery, I am walking again without pain and I have completed my first sports rehabilitation training. I believe I made the best possible decision when I decided to have the surgery.

If, like Ágnes, you are thinking about hip or knee replacement surgery, don't forget to ask the 20 questions that we have collected in this article ! If you are curious about the different types of surgery or want to know which one our doctors use, you can read more about it by clicking here .