Nagging hip pain. That constant, painful reminder is what dentist Michael Esposito, DDS, lived with for years. Though not a joint specialist, he was certain hip replacement surgery was in his future.
“Both of my parents have had osteoarthritis, so I suspected I’d likely have similar problems because of the genetic factor,” says the 63-year old Stroudsburg, Pa. dentist, who lives in Bethlehem, Pa. “Still, I put it off for years. I was an athlete – I used to play competitive tennis. I tried various methods to control my pain. But sleep deprivation and pain related to sitting and standing involved with my dental practice finally got to be too much.”
Finding the right surgeon
Esposito interviewed three orthopedic surgeons and quickly chose Eric Lebby, MD, with LVPG Orthopedics and Sports Medicine–Hausman Road. “Dr. Lebby is extremely intelligent as well as being a great guy,” Esposito says. “I was comfortable with him from the start.”
Lebby says there are many factors that contribute to developing arthritis that makes joint replacement necessary. “Genetics is certainly among them,” he says. “There are microtraumas people endure over a lifetime, as well as environmental factors. There are many theories being investigated as we get to know more about root causes.”
Ortho specialty hospital
In October 2016, Lebby replaced Esposito’s right hip at Center for Orthopedic Medicine–Tilghman, the region’s only dedicated orthopedic campus. “It’s like a 5-star hotel there, it’s an amazing place,” Esposito says. “When my left hip began giving me trouble, there was no waiting. I went back to Dr. Lebby right away.” He had surgery on his left hip in August 2019.
Only regret: Not having surgery sooner
Esposito says he went from a walker to a cane to using no aid at all in the space of just nine days following his first surgery, and only seven days the second time. “Today, I feel great,” he says. “I do a lot of walking, I work with weights and I use a rowing machine regularly. I could play doubles tennis, if I wanted. My only regret was waiting as long as I did to have surgery.”
“Each person knows when their time is right,” Lebby says. “When pain is making your life miserable, it’s time to come to us and address it. Then you can go back to your normal life in a matter of weeks.”
No one knows orthopedic medicine like Lehigh Valley Health Network and Coordinated Health. As the leader in orthopedic surgery, we have the highest orthopedic success rates in the region. With the most fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons, we have experts in every type of joint care.
Find orthopedic care near you in Allentown, Bethlehem, Quakertown, Pottsville, Fleetwood, Palmer Township, Hazle Township, Brodheadsville, Coplay, East Stroudsburg, Lehighton, Pittston, Dickson City, Wind Gap, Easton, Scranton, Washington, N.J., and Phillipsburg, N.J.