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Fighting artiﬁcial hip crime with an “I believe I walked the day I t was pitch black and the winding country road was wet. London, Kentucky police ofﬁcer Allen Harris was behind the wheel and responding after the surgery. And it just got to another ofﬁcer’s call for backup. progressively better.” As he steered his police cruiser to- ward the other ofﬁcer’s location, the – Allen Harris, patient requesting ofﬁcer radioed to inform him that the situation was currently under control. So Harris turned off his siren and reduced his speed to a more leisurely pace. Ironically, that’s when he lost control of the car. 12 | Making A Difference As Harris went around a curve 33. “At ﬁrst, I thought I would be ﬁne. total hip replacement candidate. Its that fateful May night, his car lost its I would heal up because I was young, metal-on-metal construction makes grip on the wet pavement and plowed I was strong and my body was in good it ideal. Both the ball and the socket head-on into a tree at 50 miles an shape. When my ball joint died, it got of a Birmingham Hip are constructed hour. The crash dislocated Harris’ me down. But when I met Dr. Gior- of highly polished carbide chrome, hip, crushed the ball joint inside, and dani, he was real upbeat. He thought I which wears much longer than the broke the femur in one leg. Once he could have a normal life again and he metal ball/plastic socket construction was removed from his car, he was air- got me upbeat again,” said Harris. in traditional total hip replacements. lifted to UK Chandler Hospital, more Harris had been referred to According to Dr. Giordani, studies than 70 miles away. Dr. Mauro Giordani, a UK orthopedic in England, where the device has a Three days later he had his ﬁrst surgeon who had just relocated to longer track record, indicate that 98 surgery to repair the damage. A UK Lexington from Dartmouth in New percent of patients under the age of trauma team put 10 screws in his Hampshire. Because of Harris’ young 60 who’ve had the device installed hip and femur and they attempted to age, Giordani, an expert in metal-on- still have a perfectly functioning hip reattach a portion of the ball that had metal joints, recommended a new socket after 10 years of use. On the broken off the bone. Unfortunately, procedure: the Birmingham HipTM. other hand, 35 to 50 percent of pa- damage to his hip socket proved to tients under 60 who’ve had traditional be too severe, and avascular A young technology for total hip replacements need a second necrosis—a disease that results from younger patients operation within ﬁve years. “That’s a the temporary or permanent loss of Named after the city in England scary statistic,” Dr. Giordani said. blood supply to the bone—set in. The where it was ﬁrst developed, the Bir- Another advantage of the bone tissue in his ball joint began to mingham Hip has been approved for Birmingham Hip is that the procedure die and collapse. use in the United States by the Food removes much less bone. In conven- Harris thought that his career as a and Drug Administration for just over tional total hip replacement surgery, police ofﬁcer and a National Guards- a year now. Dr. Giordani is one of only the ball is cut completely off the top man might be over at the age of just two surgeons in Kentucky certiﬁed to of the femur bone and an artiﬁcial perform the procedure. one is attached. With the Birmingham The Birmingham Hip is designed Hip, just enough bone is cut away London Police Sargeant Allen Harris is especially for younger patients who to accept a metal cap that is then back at work with a new hip. are more active than the traditional afﬁxed to the ball. This is important, Summer 2007 | 13 Dr. Giordani said, because every time both in the National Guard. an orthopedic surgeon has to revise “There are some patients you can a total hip joint, more bone has to be get attached to real quick. I think he removed. liked me because I was a real straight “If you have a Birmingham Hip shooter, like he is. I don’t beat around that fails, all you have to do is cut the bush and try to make things rosy away the head and put a conventional if they aren’t,” said Adkisson. “At the hip stem in. That takes care of it. It’s same time, I encouraged him when like doing a standard total hip replace- things weren’t looking so good after ment, but with all-metal construction,” the ﬁrst surgery. I told him, ‘Hey, he said. it’s okay, we’re going to be able to get somewhere even if this doesn’t Keeping his spirits up work.’ Part of my job was to keep him Harris decided to have the sur- Dr. Mauro Giordani specializes in hip, steamed up knowing everything was knee and shoulder replacements; adult gery in November and said he couldn’t going to be okay.” reconstruction; and malunions. be more pleased with the results. “I Harris said Adkisson did even believe I walked the day after the more. “He’s an ofﬁcer in the Air National surgery,” he said. “And it just got Guard and went above and beyond Below: Third-year resident Michael progressively better.” His condition Krueger, MD, and UK Orthopaedic has improved so much he returned to Continued on page 16 Surgeon Dr. Mauro Giordani. active duty as a police ofﬁcer in Janu- ary. While he has had to make some physical accommodations, he is still able to perform his job. “Dr. Giordani suggests I don’t run or jump unless I have to. I used to run quite a bit—10 to 20 miles a week. I used to play basketball, softball—and ﬂag football—and I can’t do that any- more. I have to be careful how I bend, too. There is a downside to it, but the upside outweighs it,” Harris said. According to Dr. Giordani, Sgt. Harris can now perform low- impact activities such as riding a stationary bike, but will have to wait a year before he can return to other ac- tivities such as road bicycling, swim- ming, low-impact aerobics, doubles tennis, power walking, dancing and bowling. Contact sports are a deﬁnite no-no. Sgt. Harris said the staff at UK not only treated his injury, but his spirit as well. In particular, he credits physician’s assistant Bill Adkisson with helping him through some of the darker moments. The two bonded almost immediately because they are 14 | Making A Difference Physician Assistant Bill Adkisson helped Harris with straight talk and encouragement. Working Away in Mortaritaville Bill Adkisson, PA-C, says he’s not in today—it protects the head and chest, to their units so they could ﬁnish the medicine to make money. He’s there but leaves the extremities exposed. jobs they came to do.” to help people. But the 18-year veter- His medical care was not limited In addition to his tour of duty in an of UK HealthCare has gone farther to soldiers. “There was a little Iraqi Iraq, last year marked another profes- than most to fulﬁll that commitment: girl who had a severe arm injury. sional milestone for Adkisson. For all the way to Iraq. The surgeon I was working with was his service in Iraq and in New Orleans A lieutenant colonel in the Ken- busy operating on someone else so during the Katrina disaster, he was se- tucky Air National Guard, Adkisson he couldn’t get to her. But he knew lected as the 2005 Air National Guard volunteered last year to go to Iraq and if we didn’t operate soon, she would Outstanding Physician Assistant treat the wounded for three months. lose the arm,” Adkisson said. “He of the Year. This prestigious award He was assigned to Camp Anaconda told me, ‘You’re going to have to do recognizes and rewards outstanding in Balad, Iraq, affectionately nick- it yourself.’ I removed the vein from individual performance of duty and named by the soldiers there as her leg that was needed and installed achievements during the previous “Mortaritaville.” it in her arm. We knew the operation calendar year. “We would be in the operating was a success when we saw the arm Adkisson, the father of ﬁve girls, theater and hear mortar rounds from immediately pink up.” says his dedication to his profession the insurgents being launched in the While the hours were long—he can be hard on his family. Still, he distance. We would just keep working would sometimes work 30 hours wouldn’t have it any other way. “I away and hope they didn’t hit nearby straight—Adkisson said the experi- don’t get to spend a lot of quantity because we had so many wounded ence was the most rewarding of his time, so I spend a lot of quality time to who needed our attention,” he said. career. “The courage of the men and make up for it. My hours aren’t going His experience in orthopaedics women serving was amazing. If you to be dictated by what I want, but by and trauma served him well because weren’t patriotic before you went what the need is,” he said. most of the injuries he saw were to over, you were when you came back. limbs. He attributes this to the im- I saw soldiers who had limbs ampu- proved body armor the soldiers wear tated asking when they could go back Summer 2007 | 15 Continued from page 14 getting them on the ball. It’s not tough love so much as recognizing when the scope of his medical duties to someone needs to be pushed,” said help me. I was worried about my Adkisson. “I never had to do that with future in the police and the Guard. He Allen. He was very self-motivated. He guided me through some of the steps I wanted to get back to the work he did needed to take when I went back, who as a police ofﬁcer.” to talk to and things of that nature.” So now that Harris’ lifelong dream For his part, Harris was a model of being a police ofﬁcer has not ended UKHC nurse praised for patient according to Adkisson. Some- as he once feared, what does he see in ‘great calming effect.’ times patients begin to take advantage his future? An even bigger job in law of family members by having them do enforcement. Said Harris, “My plans To the UK HealthCare everything. “Sometimes I have to tell are that I want to work for 20 years Community: I’m writing on behalf of my them it’s time to start doing things for and then run for sheriff. If I don’t get mother, Eula Mae Hutchins, and our themselves. They may get mad at me it, I’ll retire. If I do get it, I’ll work for entire family, simply to say thank you. that day, but the next time they visit as long as they keep electing me.” In particular, I’d like to thank the clinic they are thanking me for Ollie Smith, the RN in the Gamma Knife Center, for going beyond the necessary to make my mother and the rest of us feel comfortable. The innovative Birmingham Hip Ollie’s concern for his patients is Resurfacing System preserves such that he actually came back to the bone and joint stability for young, Markey Center one night after getting active patients. off work to check on my mother. His presence had a great calming effect on her, as it always did. Ollie is extremely competent and knowledgeable, but he’s more than that; he’s also attentive and compassionate. To someone undergoing such a major procedure, all of these attributes are important in a health care provider. It’s the little things, too. One day I spilled some coffee and made a bit of a mess, and Ollie immediately grabbed some towels to clean it up. I also cut my ﬁnger, and Ollie bandaged it. As one can see, Ollie Smith doesn’t treat just the patient; he treats the families. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. Any public relations posters or television ads for UK HealthCare should feature Ollie Smith because he epitomizes all that is best at UK. Pamela Hornbuckle West Liberty, Ky. 16 | Making A Difference