When Arthur Garcia was born he was diagnosed with a congenital dislocated right hip that, from the first time he began to walk, gave him a bad limp. His mother told him stories of his infant days spent in a children’s hospital, and he recalls the following decades of pain and unsuccessful treatment from body casts to injections in physical therapy.
Pain was Garcia’s biggest enemy, causing him to lose sleep, gain weight and wear down his left hip until he had to rely on a cane or crutches to walk. It was so debilitating that he had even begun filing for disability.
Although his hips took away many things in Garcia’s life, they did not take away his hope.
In August 2012, Garcia walked into Dr. David Ott’s office at OrthoArizona – Arizona Orthopaedic Associates, overweight, in pain, and huffing and puffing on two crutches. A little more than two years later, he is not only walking around without crutches or a cane, but without the limp that he has had his entire life.
In just two years, Arthur Garcia has become a new man with a brand new outlook on life.
He’s also 105 pounds lighter, which begins the second half of Garcia’s story.
“Dr. Ott took away this burden and life-long problem I had,” Garcia said. “Not to be able to have the freedom to walk around with no pain, it’s a bitter outlook on life.”
Garcia received an anterior hip replacement separately on both of his hips. The anterior hip replacement is an alternative surgical procedure that dramatically decreases recovery time and allows patients to walk the day of the surgery, as it does not require cutting any muscles surrounding the joint.
“The benefits of this procedure vastly outweigh those of traditional joint replacements,” Dr. Ott said. “The procedure helps so many patients like Arthur, and we get him back to living life exactly how he wants, rather than living with the limits that his pain sets for him.”
In 2012, Garcia had his left hip replaced. With great results, he transitioned from the crutches to a cane. Dr. Ott informed him that he had to lose 100 pounds before the second surgery, as his weight had caused a problem for his joints, and by December 2012, he had lost the weight and had the second operation on his right hip, successfully recovered in three to four weeks and was back to work by February.
Garcia stated that Dr. Ott and the professionals at AOA – Arizona Orthopaedic Associates explained every detail of the procedure, along with the postoperative protocol. He also said he would tell other patients requiring a joint replacement to do their research, visit Dr. Ott and strongly consider the anterior approach replacement.
“They even let me touch the actual procedure components they use and look at them,” Garcia said. “They were very professional every step of the way. I would send anyone to Dr. Ott.”
Garcia’s journey to recovery has touched many people in his family, including his children who grew up with a physically limited father, and his mother, who had witnessed her son’s pain as an infant and throughout his entire life.
His wife of almost 35 years, Virginia, is who Arthur credits with getting him through the painful times and ultimately convincing him to have the operations.
“She is my rock and I have her to thank for my new lease on life,” he said. “The expression on her face when she finally saw me walking around without a cane…she broke down. I’ll never forget the look in my wife’s eyes.”
Garcia stated that he has begun to do things that he had not before and that others take for granted, from working on his truck to attending a Phoenix Suns game.
“You always talk about winning the lottery, but if you don’t have your health or your quality of life, you don’t have anything,” Garcia said. “I’m a new man thanks to modern medicine and a great doctor.”