Daniel Kennelly 11/19/08 Dr. Nerlich Germany
Right BHR Prof. Dr. Nerlich, 19-11-2008
My name is Daniel and this is my story…I first want to thank all those that have provided me with insight and advice on this procedure.
It all started sometime in between October 2003 and January 2004. I was deployed to Iraq and I noticed that once in awhile when I would stand for a long period of time my right thigh would become numb (skin only).
So, when returned from Iraq in February 2004, we conducted a mandatory Post Deployment Health Assessment, and I brought up the numbness issue which had not affected the tips of both my big toes. They sent me to Landstuhl Hospital in Landstuhl, Germany where I a saw a neurologist. She did a few tests, but could not figure out what it was, gave me a couple pills to try and sent me on my way. Well, since she had no idea what was causing the numbness I was sure not going to try her guess work at taking some meds. So life went on…
In January 2006 I once got the opportunity to travel to Baghdad, Iraq again. When we returned in December 2006 we once again did the Post Deployment Health Assessment. Here, I brought up to them the numbness in the right thigh (toes were fine). This time, they sent me to Regensburg University Hospital in Regensburg, Germany. This time I saw a neurologist there who performed some different tests to include a MRI. When they read the MRI to me, they could not figure out exactly why my right thigh was numb, other then I think they said my L7 was little off and maybe this was causing some pressure, they could do a surgery but would not know if for sure that would fix it, and since it is not life threatening and I can live with it like I have, then I can continue, and it very well may work itself out. Followed by……
We have noticed in your MRI that the right femoral head is dying. We want you to go see the orthopedic surgeon. Thus my journey started. I met with one of Prof. Dr. Nerlich’s colleague how stated that I had Avascular Necrosis (AVN). He stated that because I had no pain that he did not recommend a surgery at this time. They wanted to wait until I had some pain. In August of 2007 the pain came, and boy did it. Sharp pain in the groin area followed by with my right leg giving out at times. I made an appointment in September 2007 with Prof. Dr. Nerlich, who stated that I needed surgery and that they would do a core decompression on the Right Femoral Head. Which is they drill a series of holes into the bone. The idea is that this would create blood flow and start the bone growing again. Upon the Surgery on October 17, 2007 I started Physical Therapy. The pain was still there, but not as severe. In July 2008 I went back to Prof. Dr. Nerlich and explained
Photo: Daniel's Surgical Team
that I as still in pain, and that my leg was starting to give away again. I had a serious gait in my walk. My Physical Therapist stated there was not much more she could do, I had good strength back, flexibility and range of motion. Prof. Dr. Nerlich sent me for a MRI, which the results that came back, he was not happy. He stated that I had advance AVN and that I would need a second surgery. This is when he brought up Hip resurfacing and gave me a brief summary of the procedure.
This is when my research started, I started surfing the internet as well joined the AVNsupport Yahoo group. I started reading other stories and sharing. When I had met with Prof. Dr. Nerlich, I explained that I could live with the pain and tolerate it, and willing to do so, in order for me to be able to Deploy to Afghanistan in March 2009. He stated that he would have to look at the AVN to see how advance it is in November 2008. Based on research and on the internet as well as a phone call I made to the National Center for AVN at Duke University in North Carolina, I spoke with a Doctor there to learn more about the disease. I thought, it would be best to have the surgery sooner than later. I went home to Vancouver for vacation and when I returned in September 2008 I met again with Prof. Dr. Nerlich and told him to schedule the surgery. He couldn’t get me in until November 19, 2008. I was a little disappointed but, I dealt with it. Perhaps a small blessing in disguise, as it did allow for me to research even more.
This is when Paul from Chicago sent me an email, that he had seen me on the AVN groups and told me about the surfacehippy yahoo group. I watched his video as well started talking with many on the site and started becoming a lot more positive about the procedure. I did however want a second opinion, so I scheduled myself for a second opinion. This doctor stated that I would need a THR. Of course this was not the news I wanted to here. I went back to Prof. Dr. Nerlich, explained what this surgeon had told me. Prof. Dr. Nerlich told me that although this surgeon is very well known and very good in his craft, all he does is THR. At this point I was like, lets do the Hip Resurfacing. I started to ask more questions, a lot based off
Photo: Daniel 5 days post op
the information I had found from talking with fellow surfacehippy members. Key question I did ask, was how many of these have you done? His response “Not enough”, twenty to be exact. I was later reassured that there would be a representative of Smith & Nephew that would be assisting in the surgery, in fact he goes to every single surgery in Germany that a BHR device is being used and assists. On November 19, 2008 I had my BHR surgery on my right hip. I am currently participating in an In-Patient intensive Physical Therapy program. I have very little to NO pain on my right hip. My Surgery was performed by Prof. Dr. Nerlich, at the University of Regensburg Hospital, in Regensburg, Germany.
I spent 13 days in the hospital, not because I needed to, it was just there was some logistics that had to be ironed out to get me into the In-Patient rehabilitation Clinic (Typical Army paperwork shuffle). I am not on day two of the physical therapy and all appears to be looking good. It is very intensive I start at 0800-0830 and go to 1730-1800 with a few small breaks in between. I am looking forward to be able to get back to my normal self, where I used to be an avid hockey player and snow skiing. Most of all, being able to do my job in the Unites States Army and Deploy with my unit to fight the war on Terror.
Right BHR Prof. Dr. Nerlich, 19-11-2008