A Family Affair
Disclaimer: In the above picture, the two adults, Liz & Phil, both had a total hip replacement by doctor Peter Sculco. The dogs (Labrador Retriever rescues Morgan, Lucy, and River) did not have a hip replacement :).
Phil - I am an avid bicycle rider, riding about 1,000 miles a year. In February 2017, I got up from a chair, and felt an extreme pain hit my right knee. I did not know it at the time but my bicycle riding would be put on hold for the next two years. I was diagnosed by a local Long Island orthopedic doctor and was told I would eventually need a total knee replacement, but in the meantime, I could get injections that will help. A year later and two sets of knee injections with no noticeable relief, we decided to go see the doctors at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). We met with Dr. Westrich, and after reviewing my x-ray, he gave me the “I have good news and bad news.” The good news is that I do not need a knee replacement, but you do need a total hip replacement. He told me that it is not unusual that the hip pain can be reflected in the knee. I was amazed since my pain had only been in my knee. A surgical appointment was made for the spring of 2018. The surgery went very well, and I was home two days later. Ten days into normal hip recovery, I was standing and was hit by an extreme pain in the operated leg. There was a noticeable shortening of about 1.5 inches in the right leg and no pain after that. There was nothing I did (fall or anything like that) or a surgical problem to cause this just an unlucky 5% unknown reason. We contacted Dr. Westrich’s office and explained what happened. Dr. Westrich’s PA, Heather, made an emergency appointment for the next morning. She said Dr. Westrich is out-of-town but will be monitoring the case and will arrange for emergency surgery if necessary. Prepare to be re-admitted. I had, in fact, had a femur fracture and would need emergency revision surgery. Dr. Peter Sculco reviewed the case and agreed to do the surgery that day. It was absolutely amazing how seamlessly the doctors at HSS worked with each other for the patient's benefit. The revision surgery went well, and we got to know Dr. Peter Sculco because we drove him crazy with questions about the procedure. He was willing to spend the time and answer the questions to any depth we asked for. He even gave us an x-ray picture of my implant for our iPhone. I am back to bicycling and feeling great. People ask me how I am doing, and I am almost embarrassed to say I feel ten years younger!
Liz - In, the spring of 2019, I had a total hip replacement by Dr. Peter Sculco. I love biking and hiking with our dogs. I also am a semi-pro photographer and I volunteer for non-profit service dog and dog rescue organizations. I could not kneel down anymore, which was necessary for photo taking, because of groin pain. Right before Phil’s operation, I told him he better hurry up because I was going to be right behind him in getting a hip replacement. We live in an amazing time when you have an organization like HSS with skilled doctors like Dr. Peter Sculco, who can replace a part and bring you back to full pain-free functioning. The operation was a complete success. Eight weeks after the operation, there was a photo shoot of a service dog graduation, which required kneeling to photograph the graduates and their dogs. It was pain-free, which was unthinkable just a short time ago. Hiking, bicycling, photographing, and life is now a joy to look forward to.
We also want to thank Joy, Dr. Sculco's NP. She is, as her name implies, quite a joyful person and so knowledgeable. She has been very helpful in answering all of our questions.
Thank you, Dr. Peter Sculco and Joy, for a great family affair and for taking great care of us.
P.S.: Dr. Peter Sculco still does not do total hip replacements on dogs (but perhaps he should consider it :) )