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David Finds Relief for Crippling Hip Pain

At first, David shrugged off the nagging pain in his left hip.

"I thought it was the weather, or a pulled muscle," says David, a full-time chef and father of two young children.

But the pain didn't go away.

Eventually, the worsening pain forced David to see two doctors and undergo a number of tests, including an MRI and PET scan. While doctors ruled out cancer, they were not sure what was causing the hip pain. David tried rehabilitation and medication. But nothing worked.

"It got so bad that I had a hard time dealing with it," he says. At one point, David thought he might have to quit working as a chef because of the pain.

He used up his sick leave and vacation days.

"I was taking a day here, a day there," he says. "I was in excruciating pain. I couldn't work. I was angry. I was taking it out on my family. It was horrible."

Hip Arthroscopy Brings Pain Relief

Finally, his pain management doctor referred David to Daniel Sheldon, MD, an orthopedic surgeon on the medical staffs at Memorial Hospital West and Memorial Hospital Miramar. He is the only doctor performing the procedure for Memorial Healthcare System, and one of the few in South Florida.

"David was basically unable to walk when I saw him," Dr. Sheldon says.

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that typically takes about two hours. David's surgery lasted five hours, however, because of a large number of bone spurs around his hip.

"David had fairly pronounced bone spurs, and those spurs were causing damage to his hip," Dr. Sheldon says. He also repaired David's torn labrum.

David, whose wife, Jessica, is a clinical manager at Memorial Hospital West, credits Dr. Sheldon, the nurses and staff at the hospital and Memorial Hospital West Fitness and Rehabilitation Center for helping start his path to recovery.

"Memorial allowed me to get back to my career, which I dearly love," David says. "The journey was long and difficult, but well worth it. I would do it again."

Most of all, David is happy he can enjoy life again.

"Dr. Sheldon, and Memorial, made a huge difference in my life," David says. "People need to know this is an option. I was thinking I would have to have a hip replacement. Now I may not need a hip replacement until I'm 55 or older."

Recovery from hip arthroscopy takes about three months, with a routine that consists of physical therapy and home exercise.

David, who was 37 when he had the surgery in October 2009, was soon back on the job. Without surgery, David believes the pain would have forced him to give up the career he's loved for 20 years. 

Most importantly, he can play ball with his 5-year-old son and crawl around on the floor with his 3-year-old daughter.

"I would do it again 10 times over," David says of the procedure. "Now, I'm not in pain. I feel like I'm 25 again."


Is Your Doctor a Memorial Doctor?
To find a physician who is committed to South Florida healthcare services, call Memorial Physician Referral Service toll-free at (800) 944-DOCS. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.