For Roy Baker, the news that he needed a full hip replacement at the age of 43 was shocking — not only because 43 is relatively young to need a hip replacement, but also because he is a serious athlete. Roy had been an active runner for the past 25 years and a skier for 17. Despite his surprise, he could not deny the pain that he was feeling. Leading up to September 2013, Baker’s suffering grew increasingly worse. What started as a bit of discomfort in his right hip had grown into debilitating pain, causing him to walk with a limp, and at times preventing him from walking at all.
Enter Chris Casscells, M.D.
Baker met Dr. Casscells for the first time in June 2013. After a series of tests, Dr. Casscells concluded that Baker had arthritis in his hip and would need a full joint replacement. Baker worried that his running days would be over, but Dr. Casscells assured him that he would be able to lace up his sneakers again, sooner than he thought.
“From the beginning he was very upbeat and positive,” Baker said. “He didn’t make me feel rushed, and he clearly explained what would be involved in the surgery and what my outcome would be. I specifically remember a story he told me about another patient of his who was a marathon runner. She received a hip replacement and was able to run another marathon nine months after her operation. I was relieved to hear it.”
On Monday, September 9, 2013, Baker entered Wilmington Hospital to undergo surgery. The operation went smoothly, and he soon found himself resting comfortably in Christiana Care’s Center for Advanced Joint Replacement in the newly opened south wing of the hospital.
“My experience at Wilmington Hospital was absolutely fantastic,” he said. “I was in a private room in a brand-new wing, and the staff treated me very well. Everyone from the nurses to the techs made me feel right at home and contributed to the experience.”
Two days later, he left the hospital, and with the help of the Christiana Care home rehabilitation staff, he began learning how to live on one leg as the other healed.
He wasn’t sidelined for long. “Within two weeks I was outside getting the mail. That was really exciting,” he said.
On November 9, 2013, two months to the day of his total hip replacement, Baker ran a 5K race on the Wilmington waterfront and finished in 39 minutes. In September 2014, he ran his first ever 10K race.
“I’m thrilled to death,” he said. “I’ve got my life back. I’m doing everything I’ve always done. I run, I ski, and I’m just so happy I picked Christiana Care and Dr. Chris Casscells to perform my surgery. I would recommend him to anyone.”