As a legendary football coach, Barry Switzer clearly understands the pain players may experience while running, jumping and colliding on the field. But a few years ago, Coach Switzer began experiencing his own pain. He walked stooped over and, even then, he could walk only for a short periods of time before needing to sit. He winced in pain as he swung a golf ball or stood fishing for bass. Not really knowing what the pain was from, Switzer went to the doctor and was diagnosed with osteoarthritis, which affects nearly 27 million Americans.
In Switzer's case, the osteoarthritis in his right hip was so advanced that his orthopaedic surgeon recommended hip replacement surgery. Weeks later, Switzer had his right hip replaced with the Anterior Approach, a less-invasive alternative to traditional hip replacement. With the Anterior Approach, the joints in the hip are still replaced, but with much less disruption and damage to surrounding muscle and tissue, which may help patients recover faster. Switzer adhered to his post-surgery rehabilitation plan and was walking short distances a week after surgery.
Two years post surgery, the now-retired Switzer is still going strong: walking briskly, golfing, fishing, engaging in various charitable endeavors and enjoying any number of activities with his family. His hips serve him well during football season, too, during which time, for example, he does a lot of traveling - and with it climbing/descending stairs, walking and getting in and out of cars. Switzer says he is just as proud of his personal victory in regaining his active lifestyle as he is of his victories on the football field.
He is working with DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction to encourage others experiencing severe joint pain to make a 'game plan' of their own and speak with an orthopaedic surgeon about treatment options.