On the Fairway: Danvers Golfer Trades Constant Pain for Hip Replacement
“As long as there is no snow on the ground, you better believe I’ll be out here golfing,” chuckles 60-year-old Danvers resident, and avid golfer, Anthony Conti. Six months ago, that wasn’t the case. Conti was in so much pain he had to walk off the course and put his clubs away for the season.
“People who know me realized how serious the pain in my hip was when I told them I couldn’t golf any more,” explains Conti. “My son’s wedding was just a few weeks away, and I knew I had to do something to get back on my feet.”
At the advice of his primary care physician, Gary Cohen, M.D., Conti went to see NSMC orthopedic surgeon William Murzic, M.D. Dr. Murzic was able to relieve the pain with a cortisone injection, but warned Conti that the relief was only temporary.
“I instantly felt better and was back at work the next day,” said Conti. “But as soon as my son’s wedding was over the pain returned and I was back in Dr. Murzic’s office scheduling surgery for a total hip replacement.”
Conti, a veteran machinist at Hansen Engineering in Danvers, is no stranger to pain. In less than ten years he has had both knees replaced, a spine surgery, and now his hip. He says giving up his active lifestyle at such a young age is not an option.
“It is not unusual for me to see active men in their 50s and early 60s suffering from severe pain in their hips and knees,” says Dr. Murzic. “My goal as an orthopedic surgeon is to get people, like Mr. Conti, back on their feet doing the things they love to do.”
In August 2011, Conti had his right hip replaced at NSMC Salem Hospital. The surgery lasted about two hours and was followed by a couple days of recovery in a recently renovated private patient room.
“The surgery was amazing. Within a few weeks I was back out in the garden and couple weeks after that I returned to the golf course,” said Conti. “I am still doing physical therapy, but I feel like I’m back to 100 percent.”
Physical therapy is extremely important in the overall outcome of any joint replacement surgery. The goals of physical therapy are to prevent healing muscles from getting too tight, improve a patient’s understanding of how to exercise, and strengthen muscles around the hip joint through controlled exercises.
“Hip replacement surgery is one of the most successful joint surgeries performed today. In the majority of patients, the implant can last at least 15 years,” explains Dr. Murzic. “Long-term results have been improving impressively with new devices and techniques.”
“If you are experiencing pain and it gets to the point where it affects your every day life, when you can’t do the things that you want to do, then it’s time to take that step,” says Conti. “It has truly made a world of difference in my life.”