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Patient Story: Shawn Rayburn

Hip replacement patient, Shawn RayburnShawn Rayburn, 35, moved to North Carolina after he left the U.S. Marine Corps at age 23. While he was still able to work as an engineer with chronic hip pain, he found other activities to be increasingly painful. “Last summer, I was walking with a cane and had severe muscle atrophy in my left leg because the pain was so intense when I tried to move,” says Rayburn. “I couldn’t walk up the stairs, let alone keep up with my five-year old son.”

The intense pain he experienced night and day in his left hip prompted Shawn to seek the help of Scott Kelley, MD, orthopaedic surgeon with North Carolina Orthopaedic Clinic and a member of Durham Regional’s medical staff. Kelley explained that Shawn had avascular necrosis— deterioration of the bone due to blood loss—which had caused the heads of his femurs to collapse.

Shawn had his left hip replaced September 13, 2010. With required blood tests and paperwork completed beforehand, he felt relaxed the day of surgery. “The nurses and medical staff at Durham Regional were very helpful and responsive, and they took time to answer questions,” says Rayburn.

Shawn felt better the day after his first surgery. A new physical therapy regimen was implemented at Durham Regional, which he continued on an outpatient basis three days a week. “The combination of our clinic’s preoperative education, Shawn’s age going into surgery, and our muscle sparing approach helped him recover quickly from the first hip replacement surgery,” says Kelley.

With the pain of the left hip in check, Shawn soon realized how painful his “good” hip had become. Although only a few months later, he attended all the preoperative education classes again to ensure he was well prepared and had not forgotten anything. “My mother came down from New York for the first surgery. When I went back for the second surgery to replace my right hip joint, the nurse remembered my mother and let her know over the phone how I was doing.”

Six months after the surgery, the bone grew on the prosthetic joint sufficiently for Shawn to run again. He’s happy to have pain-free mobility, which most people take for granted. “I was trapped inside the house before,” says Rayburn. “Now I can take my son to the park, ride a bicycle, and go up the stairs. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to be pain free.”