Back on the golf course after hip surgery

For several years, Robert Andreasen had been plagued by chronic hip pain. Although he was a lifelong golfer, he had given up his favorite pastime simply because it hurt too much.

“The pain was getting in the way of my everyday life,” he says. “When it got in the way of my golf game, that was the last straw.”

Andreasen knew he needed surgery, but he put it off after watching a video of a hip replacement on the internet. “I shouldn’t have done that,” he admits. “It kept me from taking care of it.”

As the condition of his hip worsened, Andreasen ran into a string of friends who had recently had positive experiences with their own hip or knee surgeries. They had one thing in common: S. Douglas Werner, DO, an orthopedist at HonorHealth who specializes in primary and revision total joint replacement of the hip and knee. 

“Finally, it gets to where your pain and discomfort override your fear,” he says. “I thought, OK, I’m going to call this guy.”

A way forward

Andreasen made an appointment with Dr. Werner and learned he was an excellent candidate for a hip replacement.
“I had a lot of confidence that he knew what he was doing,” says Andreasen. “He explained things well and we hit it off.”

Andreasen lives in Sun City West but learned that Dr. Werner was soon moving to HonorHealth Sonora Crossing Medical Center in North Phoenix. He decided to wait two months so he could have surgery at the new location, even though it meant a longer drive.

Sonoran Crossing’s inaugural inpatient surgery

Sonoran Crossing Medical Center provides surgical services for joint replacement and minimally invasive orthopedic, spine, gynecologic and general surgery procedures, treatments and therapies. As it turns out, Andreasen’s hip surgery was the first inpatient surgery in this new location.

“It’s a beautiful facility with state-of-the-art operating rooms with the latest technological advances, from specialized robotic instrumentation to advanced positioning tables,” explains Dr. Werner. “It offers patients a great experience from start to finish.”

On the appointed day, after getting a COVID-19 test per health and safety protocols, Andreasen’s wife dropped him off for total hip replacement surgery. He got a warm welcome from staff who were excited to open the medical center and begin treating patients.

“I was the only guy on the floor, and everybody was nice to me,” he explains. 

A speedy recovery

The surgery went smoothly, and a few hours later Andreasen was up and walking around. 

“I wasn’t even using a walker, and I was feeling terrific,” he says. “I was walking up and down stairs – something I hadn’t been able to do in at least eight years.”

According to Dr. Werner, when patients are mobile after surgery, they have improved pain management, a decreased risk of blood clots and fewer complications. 

“It’s better for patients,” he notes. “My goal is to have them comfortable, stable and meeting their goals so they can go home the same day or the next day.”

After his surgery, Andreasen spent the night as a precaution and was discharged the next day.   Although he experienced some pain post-surgery, he kept up with his physical therapy and continued to improve. 

“Like I never had a hip problem in my life”

Although Andreasen had been reluctant to have hip surgery, he’s glad he finally made the decision to do it. 

“A week later, I was walking around like I never had a hip problem in my life,” he says.  

Dr. Werner has also given Andreasen permission to get back on the golf course. 

“He said, you’ve got all the movement you need, and you can do anything you want,” Andreasen notes. He’s looking forward to refining his swing on the golf course and enjoying an improved quality of life. 

For his part, Dr. Werner finds great satisfaction in helping patients like Andreasen. 

“What is really rewarding is being able to take a patient like Robert who is having tremendous pain and difficulty and a decreased quality of life and help him get back to walking and doing what he enjoys without pain,” he says. 

Learn more about orthopedic surgery