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Ken Vrana

Nesconset, NY
  • Ken Vrana in the photo 1

In 2017 I began to notice some frequent discomfort in my right hip. Being in my 60s, I assumed it was just aging and dismissed it. As an avid cyclist I began to notice, however, that I could not submit my right side to as much pressure, as in climbing hills or getting up 'out of the saddle' for sprints, as my left. Fellow riders would often come up from behind me and comment about how my right knee moved outward as I pedaled.

In 2018 I stopped riding, as the discomfort in my hip had become chronic and more pronounced and limited my ability to all but cruise along flat roads without feeling limited. I visited a local orthopedist and got a cortisone shot, but also received the news that my right hip no longer had any cushioning and was bone on bone.

After some physical therapy which prevented further deterioration but did not help recover any lost ability (as was expected), I decided with my doctors that hip replacement would be the best option. My orthopedist at the time only performed posterior hip replacement, and everyone I spoke to who had had the surgery said anterior was 'the way to go'. Upon researching anterior hip replacement I found Dr. Friedrich Boettner at HSS, whose biography on the hospital site states that he performs both anterior and posterior replacements and could advise on the best approach for the individual patient.

Dr. Boettner reviewed my specific case and activities and advised that, while I was a candidate for either method, he would recommend posterior, and provided compelling reasons for that recommendation. Taking his advice, I scheduled the surgery and had my right hip replaced on January 4, 2019.

My hip pain was gone from the time I came out of anesthesia, and recovery has been nothing short of spectacular. In the hospital less than 48 hours, recuperation at home initially exactly as Dr. Boettner had described, and progress nothing short of remarkable both by my expectations and the visiting nurses and physical therapists who saw me in the first weeks following surgery. I went from a walker to cane at a little over a week following the procedure, and continued to progress at amazing speed through my follow-up visit with Dr. Boettner's assistant, Michelle Sabsels, at just shy of three weeks after surgery. Michelle examined me thoroughly and another battery of x-rays were taken, at which point she lifted my post-surgical restrictions entirely.

Since then, with the help of physical therapy at a local, HSS affiliated therapist's office, and my own will to recover quickly, I have resumed all normal activities with no restrictions or limitations. Yes, I have gotten 'Back in the Game', back on the bike - at first on my trainer in my home, to avoid risking a fall, but most recently returning to the road. I am looking forward to a busy and rewarding cycling season this year and many seasons to come, all thanks to the magnificent work done by Dr. Boettner and the HSS team. I am confident that my results might not have been as positive had I had this surgery done elsewhere.

Certainly every patient is different, and my results may not be indicative of what should be expected, but I am sure that the expertise and abilities of HSS and Dr. Boettner gave me the best possible likelihood of this very positive experience and outcome. I thank the team again for these extraordinary results, and highly recommend HSS and Dr. Boettner for hip replacement surgery!