OAA Patient Ambassador: Meet Jason

April 01, 2017

Meet Jason – a family man who enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. Jason is a special Jason at PNC Parkeducation teacher and works closely with students with emotional disabilities, but in his free time, you will likely find him at one of his kid’s sporting events or on a bike. “I would ride my bike every day if I had the time,” Jason shared.

Unfortunately, for about ten years Jason suffered from hip pain. He endured the pain over the years, but as time progressed, so did the pain. “My hip was so arthritic that I was barely able to walk without a high level of pain. I could not perform physical tasks like helping my children work on their sports skills, I was no longer able to swing my leg over the frame of my bike, and we even started planning family vacations around my inability to walk more than a short distance,” Jason recalled.

After having enough of altering his lifestyle because of his hip pain, Jason sought out care from OAA. “I had friends that had orthopaedic procedures elsewhere, but I had always heard great things about OAA,” said Jason. Jason was initially seen by Dr. Jill Crosson, a primary care sports medicine physician, of OAA’s Sports Medicine Institute. Dr. Crosson informed Jason about the severity of his osteoarthritis in his hip and shared some nonoperative treatment options, many of which he already tried. Together, Jason and Dr. Crosson decided that it might be best to meet with a surgeon regarding a potential hip replacement. As a result, Dr. Crosson suggested that Jason see Dr. Gregor Hawk of OAA’s Sports Medicine Institute. “I cannot thank Dr. Crosson enough for that.”

Dr. Hawk, a fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeon, performs the direct anterior approach to total hip replacement. This surgical technique is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional hip replacement surgery that provides the potential for less pain, faster recovery, and improved mobility after surgery because the muscle tissues are Dr. Gregor Hawkspared during the surgical procedure. This technique allows the surgeon to work between muscles and tissues without detaching them from either the hip or thighbones.

When asked about Dr. Hawk, Jason gave this response: “Dr. Hawk has exceeded my expectations in every facet of this process. He was clear with answers to questions, compassionate to me and my wife on the day of surgery, and checked in on me after surgery. The hip replacement surgery itself went smoothly and my recovery has been aided by the type of surgical process he uses. I was amazed how quickly I was able to manage daily living tasks without assistance after returning home. My surgery was on a Tuesday, and by the following weekend I was showering, walking up and down steps, and able to walk outside into my yard.”

Jason had his surgery in September and is happy to have been surrounded by so many great people during the process of his joint replacement surgery. “I cannot express enough how comprehensively and free of stress everything was handled. From the scheduling of appointments to pre-surgery information and beyond, I truly felt that I only needed to show up when and where I was directed to and all would be, and was, taken care of. I also really enjoyed the LVHN Tilghman facility where my surgery took place – everyone was compassionate, caring, and skilled.”

In addition to sharing his personal experiences, Jason also provided some advice to those that are considering a hip replacement, or similar type of surgery: “This surgery is a commitment. You will need to rely on others for a few weeks until you can return to normal activity. This was the main reason why I delayed surgery for as long as I did. My wife works six days a week and I needed to be around to help care for my children and home. My only regret during this entire process is that I didn’t do it sooner. I was not living my life the way I wanted to live it, but now I can.”

Throughout the whole process Jason looked forward to returning to cycling, but what he looked forward to most was spending time with his family without hip pain. “I will enjoy riding my bike, but what really motivated me was the thought of practicing skill-building activities with my children’s sports of choice. They have been asking me to help them work on tasks their coaches said would help them improve, but I felt helpless because of my hip pain and my inability to help them practice. Now I am able to, and plan to make up for lost time. For that I am eternally thankful.” 

Jason and his family are enjoying what seems to be a new lease on his life, and are planning summer vacations knowing that his hip pain won’t be a factor. “This year we can consider destinations that I was unable to manage the past few years,” Jason shared. “This surgery was a big and scary decision, but the outcome has been well worth it!” 

Do you or a loved one have a similar story? Share your story with us, and you could be next month's patient ambassador!