Taekwondo Instructor Travels 4,000 Miles for Hip Surgery

It’s more than 4,000 miles from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Cypress, Texas. But when it came to getting the best possible outcome for his hip replacement surgery, Jeffrey Hurben was willing to make the trip.

“I had been dealing with arthritis pain in my right hip for years and knew that a hip replacement was inevitable. It got to the point where I was in constant pain, and it was preventing me from sleeping. That’s when my doctor told me I couldn’t wait any longer,” remembers Hurben.

Hurben says since Fairbanks is a small town, it’s not uncommon for people to travel elsewhere for medical procedures.

“I am a Taekwondo instructor, so needless to say, it was very important that the hip replacement surgery get me back into fighting shape,” says Hurben. “I have several friends working in the medical field in Houston. I started asking around, and that’s when I found Dr. Stafford.”

“Houston has developed a reputation for excellent medical care, especially in the orthopedic community. We do find patients are willing to travel to have joint replacement surgery performed by physicians they trust, especially when they may have a friend or family member who also lives in the area,” says Donald Stafford, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth affiliated with Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital.  In December 2017, Hurben traveled to Houston and Dr. Stafford performed the hip replacement.

Walking Within Hours After Surgery

“The moment I woke up, the hip pain was gone.  My leg was sore from the surgery, but it wasn’t like the hip pain I was experiencing before,” says Hurben.

Hurben was up and walking within hours of the surgery.

“Hip replacement surgery had a reputation for making patients helpless for weeks. However, that’s not the case anymore.  Thanks to advancements made with anesthesia, post-operative care, and the technology surrounding the replacement joint, most patients can expect to be up and walking around within 24 hours and most can see a full recovery in four to six weeks,” says Dr. Stafford.

Hurben says he’s followed Dr. Stafford’s instructions carefully and is slowly getting around on his own.

Heading to the World Championships  Pain Free

“I have been the head coach for Team USA at the International Taekwondo Federation World Championships for several years now.  At the competition in London two years ago, I remember hobbling around the competition with my team. This year, we’re heading to Argentina and I’m excited to be walking around pain free!” says Hurben.

Memorial Hermann Cypress offers innovative orthopedic care that includes non-surgical and minimally invasive procedures, surgery and rehabilitation for muscle, joint and bone injuries and abnormalities. A dedicated and  skilled multidisciplinary orthopedic care team includes specially trained, affiliated board-certified physicians, nurses and rehabilitation specialists.

Learn more about why people travel thousands of miles for the specialized orthopedic care at Memorial Hermann.

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