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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
            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

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
                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                        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

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