Gary’s Story: Hip Replacement, Then a Half Marathon

Athletes and weekend warriors alike know that nothing can sideline like an orthopedic injury, and getting back to the life they love takes some doing.

For Gary Goldblatt, it took five months of training after a hip replacement — then he achieved his personal best in the 2016 Air Force Half Marathon. The 59-year-old software engineer from Fairborn is no stranger to sport. Gary has participated in individual and team sports and activities his whole life, from race walking, biking, hiking, and playing baseball to ice hockey. So, when a small injury to his back forced him to stop running, and later when he developed arthritis in his left hip, his life in motion came almost to a halt. "I started race walking and I was having stiffness and range-of-motion issues," says Gary. "I cut back on some activities until I stopped doing anything. It affected my whole quality of life."

When Gary realized that he might need hip replacement surgery, he started researching providers, and that led him to Premier Orthopedics, part of Premier Physician Network. "I wanted someone who specialized in sports medicine," says Gary. "I read his reviews online, and when I talked to my physician, he recommended Dr. Klosterman.”

Gary made an appointment.

"Gary had severe osteoarthritis of the hip," says Dr. Klosterman. "He complained of severe hip pain, negatively affecting his active quality of life." Gary was impressed with Dr. Klosterman's knowledge of the field. When Dr. Klosterman assessed Gary's condition, he remarked that it was the type of wear and tear that's usually seen in hockey goalies.

"What Dr. Klosterman didn't know was that I was a hockey goalie in high school," says Gary. “That pretty much sold me on the procedure then. I was impressed right away, he knew where I was coming from."

While Gary was a bit nervous about the surgery because he'd never had such a procedure before, he was ready to move forward. "I really just wanted to get it done," says Gary. "I wanted to get back to living a normal life again."

Gary had his procedure in January 2016 and was back to work in four weeks. At his follow-up appointment in April, Dr. Klosterman gave him the go-ahead to go ahead. "He released me for training for the Air Force Half Marathon," says Gary. Five months later, Gary achieved his personal best in the half marathon in the 2016 Air Force Marathon.

Gary credits Premier Health's continuum of care for helping him get back to the things he enjoys. "It was unbelievably outstanding, from Dr. Klosterman and his staff to everyone at Premier Health," Gary says.

His post-operative care was provided by Fidelity Health Care. "The reassurance the home care staff gave me was huge," says Gary. Dr. Klosterman says that Gary's experience is an example of how well hip replacements can work.

"Positive motivation and expectation may be the number one patient-driven factor. On our end, we have a dedicated nurse navigator and advanced practice providers who work directly with me to assure a smooth transition from pre-op to surgery, to our dedicated orthopedic unit to home."

Gary has advice for those considering orthopedic surgery. "Don't be afraid to do it, don't hesitate. I'm sorry that I waited as long as I did. I'm glad I got it done."


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