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Rachel Becka

Virginia Beach, VA

Thanks to Dr. Robert Buly, my theme this year is "I will because I can." I had my original hip replacement for my 40th birthday. I have RA, which was activated when I gave a very difficult birth to my son. Because I was trying to get pregnant again, I was on prednisone for 3 years, which caused damage to my hip. I had a revision in 2001 because of a defect in the plastic cup. I had another revision in Sept. 2008 which left me with nerve damage in my leg. It took 6 months of intensive pt to get side laying let extension. In June 2009 my hip dislocated 3 times in 8 days not because of me exceeding 90 degrees but because the ligaments never reattached. My doctor put in a locking hip in June 2009 at which time I apparently got an infection in the hip, Infection was not detected until July 30th, 2010 because of Enbrel. At the time my doctor operated and left a 15 inch open wound to the prosthetic because he felt the stem had been in my femur so long he would have to break the femur to get it out and I would be in a wheelchair the rest of my life. I lived with a wound vac "Fred" for 7 months and a pic line with IV antibiotics. In December, 2010 the infection was back at which time my doctor told me there was nothing more he could do for me. I was having dinner with a friend who is a doctor and he suggested HSS, made a phone call to another orthopedic surgeon in the area and recommended Dr. Buly. Dr. Buly felt certain he could get the stem out and did. He put in an antibiotic spacer on March 1st and went back in on May 17th for a full replacement. Everyone at HSS was wonderful and better than any hospital I have ever been in. Thanks to Dr. Buly I have begun tennis again, just got back from 11 days in the Bahamas and plan to visit Italy in June. Why? Because I can.