5Ks. 10Ks. Marathons. Even running clubs. Arturo Florcruz has done them all. Running is a part of who he is and often provides an escape from the demands of work and daily life.
Until a decade ago, the Flower Mound resident never gave much thought to his active lifestyle. But then he noticed something troubling. After long runs, his hip would be sore to the point of barely being able to walk back to his car. Sitting for periods began to hurt his lower back and it became hard to tie his shoes or put on socks because he couldn’t lift his leg.
Arturo was eager to find a solution and put the problem behind him. He went to several physicians, who diagnosed him with osteoarthritis. His right hip was bone-on-bone, and the message was always the same: he needed a hip replacement. One doctor even told Arturo that he would never be able to run again. “I was devastated; I actually started to tear up,” he recalls.
Then Arturo read about Roger Emerson, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with Texas Center for Joint Replacement and on the medical staff of Texas Health Plano, who was using an anterior approach to hip replacement.
The minimally invasive surgical technique involves approaching the joint from the front of the hip instead of the side or rear, using a single incision. This allows the surgeon to access the hip by going between the surrounding muscles and tendons rather than through them.
“With the anterior approach, the patient is often able to go home the same day as surgery with less discomfort and downtime,” Emerson explains. “Plus, we’re able to spare muscle so they rehab much better. This is important for active patients.”
Thankfully, Arturo was a good candidate for the procedure. “We removed the arthritic parts of the joint and put in prosthetic components,” Emerson says. “The beauty of that is we’ve given him a new hip, and the predictability and durability are really amazing.”
A plan for rehabilitation came soon after Arturo’s surgery. “Physical therapists laid out the plan, and I trusted the process,” he says. “In trusting the process, I mean not rushing.”
Arturo began with baby steps. He did light running activities in the pool to help with muscle memory. Then he built back up his cardio by initially running around the block. Later, he continued building his cardio by doing laps around the local high school track.
Ten months after surgery, Arturo was running 30 miles a week. He rejoined his running club and was back to beating the guys he had once competed against.
“I had my old life back,” he says. “I’m a living example of someone who had an individual goal, and I was able to accomplish that with Dr. Emerson’s ability.”
Now at 62, Arturo is still doing what he loves. “I see myself just running like I always do and living my normal life pain free,” he adds with a smile.