“As soon as I stepped on the Classic stage on Day 3, I kind of stumbled some getting out of my boat and my hip just blew up pain wise, I knew it was over this season.”
Elite Angler Mark Davis
Dateline: Mount Ida, Arkansas
In 1891, somewhere in Germany, Surgeon Themistokles Gluck performed the very first hip replacement, you know, sort of.
Back then Dr. Gluck took Ivory and fashioned it into the ball of the hip and then with screws, Plaster of Paris, and glue, stuck it in.
No word on how that worked out.
But trust me on this, TRUST ME, hip replacement surgery has come along way since 1891…I know, both of my hips have been replaced, and to be honest, they are the only thing in my body that doesn’t hurt.
My left hip will turn 18 in a month or so, the right will be 15 soon after, but I’m not alone, check this out, according to a study done by the Mayo Clinic it’s estimated that about 2.5-MILLION people in the United States are living with hip replacements, about 1.4 million are women, 1.1 are dudes.
There is some debate about who did it first here in America but from what I’ve looked at the over/under goes to Dr. Austin Moore of Columbia, South Carolina who came up with the first implant for a patient in 1940. The patient was able to walk afterwards, but died two years later from a heart attack, after which Dr. Moore got the hip implant back and had it welded to the hood of his 1951 Chrysler convertible (true story).
Here’s what Dr. Moore said giving the commencement address to the graduates of his alma mater Wofford College in Spartanburg: “The measure of the man is the way he meets the challenge.” Several million of us can thank him for meeting that challenge, including one Elite angler who is currently home recovering from a total hip replacement…1995 Bassmaster Classic Champion Mark Davis.
“db, tell the folks I’m alive and well,” Mark told me the other day from his home in Mount Ida, Arkansas, “tell them I’m getting better every day.”
Mark told me when I asked that he just turned 55 this year, and when you look at the numbers 1% all men in America between the age of 50 and 59 have a bunch of metal and ceramic in their butts.
“Mine is ceramic and titanium, my hip it’s been about 6 weeks now, I’m certainly not ready to get back on the tour but I’ve been released to fish a couple days consecutively, and it feels good, all the pain is gone, I can walk on level ground now without any pain.”
Let us, Mark and I tell you about pain, “Every time I walked it was like walking with a knife stuck in you, it was bone on bone, I told my doc at the beginning of the year when he suggested I get the hip replaced that I thought I could get through the year ok, he just looked at me and smiled, gave me his card and all he said was it’ll take two weeks after you call me to get the surgery set, and he was right.”
First tourney up was Lake Martin, “It was horrible, just horrible, hurt so much, one of the worst tournaments ever, pain was really bad.” Mark finished in 105 place.
38 days later he faced competing in the biggest tournament of them all, The Bassmaster Classic, “I went into it hurting, happy to be in it but I was hurting.”
On the first day of the big gig I was sitting in the arena parking lot with the Jason Aldean’s roadies when Mark walked out of the arena and when I yelled “Hey” to him all he did was turn around and looked at me and kept walking but I saw when he looked my way, saw him grimace and since we are buds I didn’t think he was mad at me, but as he walked away I saw something…saw the walk of a man in serious hip pain, once there you never forget how that walk feels or looks.
“Somehow db I made the cut, as I was brought into the arena I think I was just on pure adrenaline.”
I was up in the sponsor box watching, saw how he bent over to get his fish, saw him as he was about to go from boat to stage, “…well db I’ll tell you I could barely get on stage, I stood there for a second, then made my way but I stumbled a bit, just a little but my weight came down on that hip the pain was enormous, I knew then, knew then…”
“…that I was done, done for this year, just done.”
I saw the leg plant.
I saw the tiny lurch forward, saw the back get suddenly straight and from three sections above the stage I could feel the sharp inhale of breath, could feel within me the shock that screams up your spine and explodes in your brain.
It was no surprise when I heard a few days later that Mark was out on a medical.
“I’m not on a walker or a cane now, db, have to watch the weight bearing aspects of it, when I bend to lift a fish I’m going to have to slide that leg back some and let my good leg, no hip problems there, do the bending.”
We talked some about dealing with hip replacements, Mark says getting his socks on himself is a little tough, I told him I’ll send him a sock-puller-on’er, asked him how sleeping was going, “ok it was rough there in the beginning but much better now,” I suggested sleeping with a pillow between his legs if he was a side sleeper, it helps.
“Just tell the folks db that I plan to be back next year, be back pain free, and will be back to my old competitive self, that’s a promise.”
And I have no doubt about it, frankly I wish his wife Tilly luck with trying to hold him out until next year.
Hey I just want to say this, tell you what I told Tilly when she txt’ed my that Mark was going to have a hip replacement:
If you have hip problems and need a hip replacement don’t put it off, “Tilly when Mark wakes up from the surgery, WAKES UP, the pain will be gone, yeah the stitches may be bothersome, but that horrible pain in his hip will be all gone.”
Mark: “Yep you were right as soon as I woke up it was amazing, it was better no more pain.”
Me to Tilly: “Tell him it will change his life for the good.”
Mark: “Absolutely, it was, it is life changing, I know that 6 months from now how great it will be, a year from now how amazing it will be, life changing db.”
So please if you have hip issues, it can be fixed, the pain will be taken away, and your life will be changed back to normal, trust me on that, trust Mark Davis on that, and if you are still not sure email me at [email protected] and I’ll talk you through it, that’s how strongly I think about it.