Getting your swing back at Coxa!

01.06.2017 — Patient stories

Tapani Kaskela is a project manager who underwent hip replacement surgery two years ago. The operation fixed Kaskela’s posture and walking technique, bringing his golf swings up to speed.

“That was the last straw. I decided that I had to get to the bottom of this,” says Kaskela, 57, remembering the events in the autumn of 2014.

He had recently returned from his summer vacation to his job at Ensimetri, and his colleague asked Kaskela about his odd limp. The colleague said it looked like Kaskela’s leg was hurting.

His leg was not sore, but Kaskela had to drag it a little when walking on gentle slopes while golfing. He also noticed his strokes had gradually shortened and his walking style had changed. His golfing buddies had suggested that the problem might be his hips. Kaskela was not convinced.

“I had seen a chiropractor and a sports physician in the 1980s about muscle tension in my back. I figured this was my back again, so I let it be.

However, Kaskela continued to be troubled by throbbing nerve pain, especially in the evenings. He had difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position.

Guy playing golf with driver

Quick care at Coxa

The concern of his colleagues got Kaskela to call his occupational physician. They sent Kaskela for immediate physical examination, and they confirmed the problem was not his back, but his left hip. Kaskela was referred to an orthopaedic specialist.

“Endoscopy was no longer useful, so I was immediately referred to surgery,” says Kaskela.

The physician referred Kaskela to Coxa, and he got the surgery invite quickly. At Coxa, specialist Jarmo Kangas saw that immediate action was needed. Due to a cancellation, Kaskela only had to wait two weeks for surgery.

“It was super effective! I was relieved to have the decision made so quickly. When the surgery was so soon, I had little time to worry.”

Thanks to his active lifestyle, Kaskela needed little preparation for the surgery. A visit to the dentist was sufficient.

New walking technique

Tapani says the surgery itself went well. That same evening, he was up and about with a walking aid, supported by a nurse. He praises the motivation and helpfulness of the staff.

“In addition to my treatment, I observed the care other patients received. I found it particularly warm and attentive.”

Tapani had to learn a new walking technique. He needed to gain a rolling step, touching his foot down heel first. With a smile, Tapani describes how he kept staring at his feet a lot during his recovery to learn the correct step.

At home, he was helped by his wife, mother and two sons, ages 16 and 20. The family’s energetic mini-schnauzer made sure he kept his jogging pace up. The best part was how the pain subsided immediately after the surgery.

“I was offered three months off, but I was able to come back after eight weeks,” Tapani reminisces fondly.

Straight to golfing from sick leave

Tapani used an elastic band, different exercises and balance training to improve the range of motion in his legs.

“Swimming was particularly effective rehabilitation. A golf buddy of mine had a course where I could do freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly.” His hip did not mind the swimming kicks.

The sick leave was over at an opportune time: right as the golf season started in April.

“It was a stroke of luck to recover just in time to restart my hobby! I noticed the change immediately when playing: my range of motion was different and I could play better,” he says.

His hip is now healthy as can be. Tapani was just on holiday in the Canary Islands, where he walked between ten and fifteen kilometres a day – no problem. His hip also received full marks in his post-operative check-up. His advice for anyone in the same situation is to take action.

“Why wait? Better to get it done now than after waiting and suffering. Get yourself to Coxa!” Tapani concludes.