13 Aug The Story of My Double Hip Replacement Journey
My name is Micheal and this is the journey of my double hip replacement …..
I was asked to present my story about my experience with double hip replacement with Dr. Müller and NOC ORTHO in Berlin Germany.
A little background on my life that led me to me needing both of my hips replaced.
I was born in Germany and grew up working over 17 years in the coal mines. As I am sure you can imagine working in coal mines in Germany at this time was not for the weak of heart.
After finishing my time in the coal mines I continued my career as a contractor. It is safe to say the heavy wear and tear on my body over the years led me needing both my hips replaced. The years of overuse on joints was causing me a great deal of pain and affecting my quality of life and daily activities.
My wife and I are lucky enough to be able to follow our dreams of living in America and continuing our careers on the East Coast. Of course, after growing up in Germany I did have a great deal of respect for the American medical system. Growing up in Germany you have the image the USA is at the forefront of medical technology and care.
I was born in Germany and grew up working over 17 years in the coal mines.
When I went to the first US doctor looking into my hip pain it is safe to say I expected a different patient-doctor interaction. The visit with the doctor was far from what I was expecting.
My wife and I sat waiting in the room for the doctor to arrive. The doctor walked in with my x-rays of both my hips. With very little introduction the doctor looked over the x-rays and after a very short 10 mins in a total visit, the doctor announced I needed both hips replaced and it would cost $42,000 each hip.
As you can imagine I was caught off guard by the short interaction for what I felt was a very serious thing. Then the shock of being told for just $84,0000 dollars I can have both of my hips replaced. The cost of hip surgery is very expensive.
Keep in mind I have excellent medical health insurance and I think there would have been very little out of pocket payment for me but…..
I left the doctors office with a lot to think about and started asking friends their thoughts. At the time my good friend just had a total hip replacement done in Atlanta. What he told me about his experience made me even more concerned about having my hips replaced in America.
My friends replacement started ok. He had the surgery and was released from the hospital just after 2 days. He then had a string of complications from blood clots, multiple infections and his wound not healing properly.
My friend thankfully reminded me I was from Germany and asked why I would even risk having the surgery done in the United States when I could go to Germany and have it all taken care of.
I thought about the idea of going to Germany, and my wife and I talked it over. We felt, if we could find a doctor we could trust in Germany then we would go ahead and have my hips replaced there.
I started to research Berlin medical tourism doctors in Germany and the name that kept coming up and being referred to me was Dr. Jens Müller as the top medical orthopedic surgeon in Berlin Germany.
Dr. Müller and I had several short emails back and forth about the process. I felt comfortable enough to fly to Berlin and at least meet with him. I needed to see Dr. Müller face to face to know if I could trust him with replacing both my hips at the same time.
Dr. Müller walked into the room shook my hand looking me right in the eyes. I knew I could trust this man instantly. We talked a little about his experience, Dr. Müller performs over 400 hip and knee replacements each year. Dr. Müller said he was comfortable replacing both my hips at the same time after looking over my records.
Then to my surprise, Dr. Müller invited me to see the surgery room where my hip replacements would take place. He explained the tools and exactly how the procedure would go. This is services and time a US doctor would never give to a patient and it was this personal one on one with the doctor that put me at ease and ready for my surgery.
For me at this point, it was very clear doctors in America think money first when it comes to patient care. While in Germany I felt like my quality of care was the number one priority for the entire process of my medical treatment.
I needed both hips replaced and it would cost $42,000 each hip.
The next day, June 15th, 2016 at 8 am, my double hip replacement surgery started. At 10:45 am both of hips were replaced with prosthetics and I was recovering. In 24 hours almost to the minute after my double hip replacement, I took my very first step. Keep in mind I had ZERO pain and was on NO pain medication of any kind.
I stayed in the hospital for 4 night with an excellent physiotherapy schedule. I felt very comfortable with my recovery and appreciated the extra days to stay in the hospital unlike I would have had in the USA.
I then travel to Heidelberg Germany where I did the remainder of my rehabilitation and recovery.
I returned home from my double hip replacement in just 5 weeks. I felt like a new man very strong with no pain at all.
One of my lifelong dreams was to travel to Machu Picchu and summit the historic Peruvian mountain. Once my hips started to hurt and then found out I had to have both of my hips replaced I gave up on this dream for a split second.
Just 9 weeks after my surgery I was standing on top of Machu Picchu supported by both of my new prosthetic hips. I was living my dream in a way I could never have dreamed of. It was certainly an incredible experience.
I can’t thank Dr. Müller enough for his bed’s side manner, his extreme professionalism, and exceeding all of my expectations.
I am currently still living a pain-free active life. I bike 4 times a week and I enjoy living a life without being restricted by pain.
Once in a while, I feel my balance is a little off and once in a while, I experience soreness in my upper leg muscles. With this in consideration, my quality of life is 100% perfect and I live a pain-free life. For me personally traveling to Berlin Germany as a medical tourist was the best decision I could have made.
Just 9 weeks after my surgery I was standing on top of Machu Picchu supported by both of my new prosthetic hips.
After meeting so many people asking me where I had my surgery performed and how it went I wanted to tell my story and give well-deserved credit to Dr. Müller and NOC ORTHO for the fantastic care.
NOC ORTHO is honored to be part of such a wonderful patient journey. Thank you, Micheal, and can’t wait to see you again in Berlin!