Steve's Story: Coping With Arthritis - Steve's story
Dealing with the pain continued...
Steve was only 46 years old at the time. "I wasn't sure about having surgery since I was so young. I had heard that an artificial hip could give out in 10 to 20 years," he says. "I was worried that I might need to get another one later on. I was also concerned about the risks of having surgery."
Steve decided to wait. He wasn't ready to have the surgery so early in his life. Instead, he started to take a prescription anti-inflammatory medicine to help relieve the pain. It helped for a while.
Time for surgery
"But when the medicine I was taking stopped working, I figured I had gone as far as I could go with this and decided to go ahead with the surgery," Steve says.
At age 55, Steve got a new hip, and he's happy that he did. "I was pretty much pain-free after about a month and a half. It's a strange feeling to be able to walk without a limp and to walk up and down stairs without grabbing onto the railing."
He encourages others who might need surgery to find a doctor they can trust. Steve also says it’s important to ask a lot of questions and be clear on the risks and benefits of having the surgery. And, if it's possible, he suggests that people try to relieve the pain with medicine and exercise first, especially if their pain isn't really bad, because it may help for a while.
Even though Steve had to give up playing squash after his surgery, he’s now back to enjoying other activities that once caused him pain, such as traveling overseas and sightseeing. "I could barely make it through a small part of the day," he says. "Now, these things are a pleasure again."
Steve's story reflects his experiences as told in an interview. The photograph is not of Steve, to protect his privacy.
For more information, see the topic Osteoarthritis.