William’s Story

Active 76-Year-Old Leaves Pain Behind with Hip Replacement Surgery

William Fussner and the staff at University Hospitals Sheffield Health Center/ Center for Orthopedics

William Fussner only moves forward, mentally and physically.

If he’s not riding his Harley on the highways and byways of Arizona during the winter months, William can usually be spotted somewhere in Vermilion, either at the gym working out or at a park walking his routine four miles.

Walk after walk and ride after ride, he powered through nagging pain in his hip that tried to tell him to put his feet up. After all, at 76-years-old, he was bound to be less active and it was normal to experience aches and pains.

It wasn’t until this past April when that nagging hip pain demanded his attention, and it was obvious his body was telling him to put the brakes on his activities.

“I was walking my four miles like I always did, when it suddenly felt like someone stuck an icepick through my hip,” said Fussner. “I knew I wasn’t going to be able to walk this off like I typically did.”

William labored his way back to his house and iced the injury, but knew this wasn’t a typical pull or strain.

“I knew after a few hours, it was time to call the man,” he said, referring to William Stanfield, MD, joint replacement surgeon at University Hospitals Sheffield Health Center / Center for Orthopedics.

Dr. Stanfield had come highly recommended from a friend who had an orthopedic procedure with him in the past.

“This guy was a beast, and by that I mean he was in great physical condition,” Dr. Stanfield said of William. “After we spoke in my office, ran some tests, I learned he had been bothered by osteoarthritis or hip pain for about three years until he couldn’t get by with ice and rest.”

Dr. Stanfield wanted to preserve William’s desire to remain active and knew if he underwent a long, intense procedure, not only would the physical recovery be daunting, but the psychological toll would have debilitating.

On July 17, 2017, Dr. Stanfield saw William laying on his table in his operating room. Because Dr. Stanfield used a new minimally invasive approach for the total hip replacement, William wasn’t lying on that table long.

One three-inch incision and one hour in the OR was all it took.

Within the same day of the procedure, William could put weight on his legs and quickly began to figure out his path to recovery.

William spent two days in the hospital. Two weeks after his surgery, William shed his walking aides and began to think again about his routine strolls and wind in his hair as he rode his Harley under the calming rays of the sun.

“It is a full hip replacement that involves muscle-sparing that allows for quicker healing,” said Dr. Stanfield. “At University Hospitals / Center for Orthopedics, we do 90 percent of our replacements like this because we recognize the value of getting our patients back to a regular, pain-free life.”

Now only a few months removed from the surgery, William has returned to his routine walks, albeit shortened in length a bit until fully recovered, and can hear the Harley calling his name again, asking for the open road.

“You can’t put something like this off, you just can’t,” said William. “I cannot tell you enough how happy I am that I made the decision to call Dr. Stanfield.

“Every day you wait you are taking a step backwards – and I don’t move backwards, I move forward.”

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