He’s a 28-year-old single dad with a three-year-old daughter to raise and bills to pay.
But when pain in his right hip became so excruciating that even pulling on a sock was an agonizing exercise in pain tolerance, Bryce Hutton knew he had to do something.
Pain that had been off-and-on for several years had become a gnawing presence in his life. Hutton, who works as a fence builder and enjoys an active outdoor lifestyle, was desperate for help.
An image – a reminder of how much he battled pain – is etched in memory: His daughter Piper, then just two and a half, struggling to help him get his boots and socks off after a day at work.
“My work days were getting shorter because of it. I was working hurt and sore all the time,” he says. “I couldn’t bend over past a 45-degree angle. I couldn’t lay on my right side. I couldn’t play with my daughter. I was getting to the point where I couldn’t even pick her up for a hug.
“I felt like I was 65. I was miserable.”
Last fall, Hutton turned to Dr. Gary Bos of KVH Orthopedics.
X-rays revealed congenital hip dysplasia, a condition in which the hip has not formed properly, and something else. Somewhere along the line Hutton also had broken his hip.
“I didn’t realize that until I saw the X-rays,” says Hutton, who acknowledges that his body saw more than a little wear and tear in his younger years. “It could have been anything – riding bulls, breaking horses, wrecking dirt bikes. I was kind of a wild child,” he says with an easy grin.
In November, Hutton underwent total hip replacement surgery at KVH Hospital. The results were life changing. “As soon as I woke up in recovery all that old pain that I’d lived with for years was gone,” he says. “It was amazing.”
After one night in the hospital he headed home the following afternoon. “It was all super easy,” says Hutton. “I went home with a walker and a cane. I went back one week after surgery and carried the walker into his office.”
Two weeks after surgery he began six weeks of physical therapy through KVH. “I was up and moving without a walker or a cane by my second physical therapy visit,” he says. “By the fourth week I felt like nothing had happened. Now I’m pretty much 100 percent. It’s like I never had a problem. I feel wonderful.”
Hutton says he’s been told his new hip should last 20 to 30 years though his “wild child” days are definitely over. “The new hip won’t stand up to that,” he says.
Now back to an active outdoor lifestyle that often includes Piper at his side, Hutton knows firsthand that joint replacement surgery, as common as it is, can seem daunting.
His advice? If you’re in pain and considering joint replacement find a surgeon you trust and feel comfortable with because it makes the whole experience “ten times better,” he says.
“That’s what I did. I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Bos. He was friendly, matter-of-fact with a good bedside manner. He made sure I was fully informed and totally comfortable.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. He was phenomenal.”