Heathrow Airport, at the end of a few days in London, was what sent me scurrying, as best I could, to HSS. I had managed a limited walking tour of the city, where the parks were in glorious spring bloom, but every foray along a flowery path was cut short by pain, despite a cortisone shot in my hip (my fourth in a year and a half). But it was Heathrow, on my way home to New York, that did me in. Hauling my carry-on and myself along the airport’s endless corridors with my hip screaming made me want to sit down and cry.
As soon as I got home I started seriously researching HSS. A friend suggested I check out Dr. Eduardo Salvati. He had replaced both hips at once for a friend of hers, with happy results, and the former patient had described him as “a brilliant surgeon.” I was grateful to get an appointment quickly. My x-rays were something of a shock—where my femoral head had once been was now collapsed bone. It was clear, though, that whatever was wrong with me was no match for Dr. Salvati, who, I learned, has done more than 15,000 joint replacements. Dr. Salvati’s assistants scheduled my surgery within a couple of weeks, in late May 2019.
HSS is a streamlined marvel, from start to finish. Every staff member I encountered was upbeat, utterly professional, encouraging, and confidence inspiring. I stayed in the hospital two nights. Once home, I didn’t need anything stronger than Tylenol. The walker I was issued at the hospital got me into my building and was never used again—I quickly graduated to a cane and it wasn’t long before I could toss that aside too. Over the next two weeks a visiting nurse checked in several times, and a physical therapist came to my home three times a week. By the end of the two weeks I was able to walk, with just the help of the cane, to a physical therapy facility several blocks away. By the time I finished my 10 weeks of PT, I could not only navigate the streets of NYC with ease, I could walk on the beach, swim in the ocean, and ride my bike again.
Four months after surgery, I went to Morocco. Every moment seemed a miracle—I could hike, climb around ruins, negotiate winding, uneven staircases, and walk for hours and hours. I even made friends with a camel. I got my mobility back, and I got my life back.
I am deeply grateful. Thank you, Dr. Salvati. Thank you, thank you, everybody at HSS.