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THR Surgeon in SF Bay Area needed

cstinchcomb

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I found this forum EXTREMELY helpful both before and after my LTHR in April 2014. But somehow, I never joined. Afterwards, I wished that I'd contributed so that others might benefit. Now I need the right one done and thought I'd start here.

My LTHR was done at Colorado Joint Replacement at Porter in Denver by Dr. Charlie Yang. It works *perfectly*.
But we now live in the San Francisco Bay Area and I am looking for a new surgeon. UCSF is in my insurance network. Any recommendations would be most appreciated. It'll be a great thing when the Surgeon Locator is fully populated.

I'm normally pretty athletic (swim, bike, full yoga practice, lift weights; I used to run but that was not recommended after the first hip replacement), so I'd ideally like to find a surgeon who has some experience with athletes.

I'm looking forward to having the right hip work as well as the left does.
 

Jamie

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Hi, @cstinchcomb, and welcome to BoneSmart as an official member! There are plenty of great surgeons in the San Francisco area, so you shouldn't have a problem getting your second hip replaced. Here are a few options for you to check out:

San Francisco, California

Dr. James Hartford
or Dr. Johhn Lannin
Sutter Health
Palo Alto Center
795 El Camino Real Lee Building, Level 3
Palo Alto, CA 94301
650-853-2951

Dr. Bradley Graw
Palo Alto Medical Foundation
795 El Camino Real Bldg Lee
Palo Alto, CA 94301
650-933-5074

Erik Hansen, MD
Assistant Professor
Arthritis & Joint Replacement
1500 Owens Street
San Francisco, CA 94158
415-353-2808

About Erik Hansen, MD
Dr. Erik N. Hansen is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery in the Arthroplasty Division at UCSF and serves as the clinical fellowship director. His clinical and academic interests revolve around primary total joint arthroplasty, including the direct anterior approach to hip replacement surgery, as well as complex revision surgery.

Apart from his clinical practice, Dr. Hansen has a strong commitment to clinical research dating back to his medical school education. At that time, he took an additional year off to work in an orthopaedic basic science laboratory to understand the fundamentals of fracture healing. In residency, he was selected from his class to do an extra year of research, during which time he worked on several clinical projects focused on total joint replacement, orthopaedic trauma, and medical education. Over the past several years, multiple projects which he has collaborated on have been recognized for prestigious national awards, including the James A. Rand Young Investigator Award, the Mark Coventry Award, and the Chitranjan Ranawat Award. He currently serves as the UCSF lead investigator collaborating with several other major academic institutions on multicenter, prospective randomized clinical trials focused on improving outcomes following revision joint replacement surgery.

Dr. James Huddleston
Stanford Medical Outpatient Center
Redwood City, CA
Hip and knee revisions
Speaker at 2018 ICJR workshop on problem hips and knees

Dr. John Dearborn
Co-director of The Institute for Joint Restoration.
2000 Mowry Ave
Fremont, CA 94538
510-818-7200


Please let us know how your search goes and who you finally end up with. It's a good idea to talk with several surgeons so you can pick the one that is best suited to your particular situation.
 
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cstinchcomb

cstinchcomb

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Thank you @Jamie, so much, for your recommendations. Very much appreciated; I'm starting a little late on this process even though I've known for a year or so what the future would bring.

@VSlowLife , truly best of luck with your upcoming surgery. I so clearly remember standing up in the hospital for the first time after my surgery -- weight on both legs, no pain.
 

VSlowLife

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@VSlowLife , truly best of luck with your upcoming surgery. I so clearly remember standing up in the hospital for the first time after my surgery -- weight on both legs, no pain.
Thank you so much! I can't wait to experience that feeling, too. :chuckmarch:

Good luck in choosing your new surgeon.
 
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cstinchcomb

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Hi Folks,

Update, and a few questions. Picking a surgeon is not so easy, and I have waited too long (there are always reasons) to get started with this; I am in quite a bit of pain and have started using my crutches.

UCSF Health is really good. The doctors are, in general, smart and highly engaged in their profession. My hubby has had some interaction up there, so that's my experience. But (maybe because of this) ... it takes a while to get an appointment. So I made one, with Dr. Erik Hansen, it's March 11th. UCSF's orthopedics program is ranked 4th in the US. Dr. Hansen was on Jamie's list and also recommended by my Colorado orthopedic surgeon.

I think that I should make another appointment. I am not sure how my insurance will do with multiple consultations, but I think that they will probably pay for two. How has that gone for other people?

So my question is ... well, which two? Based on another recommendation from my PCP, I have added Dr. Bernardo Ferrari (Mountain View) to my list. The other docs that are interesting to me are Drs. Hartford and Lannin, in Menlo Park. I guess I should call them both and have a chat about lead time etc.

I ruled out Dr. Dearborn (in Fremont) because I don't want a posterior, and I need to rule people out anyway.

Ok, one more thing. Hospitals.

UCSF, looks great, I am in Palo Alto so it's an hour drive, not awful, but the other two hospitals, Menlo Park Surgical Hospital (Hartford and Lannin), and El Camino Hospital (Ferrari), are quite a bit closer. Menlo gets pretty good reviews. El Camino, not so much, but the bad reviews are mostly for the emergency department, which is (!!!) outsourced. Dr. Ferrari has been working with El Camino for many years so maybe that offsets the bad reviews. I suspect that UCSF has the best physical facilities and all the latest technology; I am not sure about the other two.

My left hip was done without any advanced robotics or the Massa table etc., came out great.

All feedback is appreciated. Later I'll write about the process I used to find a surgeon when I had my first hip done in Colorado; that might be helpful to other folks looking for a surgeon, but most of it doesn't help me now.
 

dlp

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Can't help you with a surgeon, since mine retired last year. I have only had an office visit for a followup with another, so I can't recommend him yet.

Regarding hospitals, however, I hear great things about UCSF, and am unfamiliar with Menlo Park Surgical Hospital. But I have been to Good Samaritan in S.J. (which is where both of my hips were done), Stanford Hospital in P.A., and El Camino Hospital in M.V.
Of all the places I've been, I'd put El Camino last. It's not that i feel they are bad, so much as I just haven't felt that they were great. And there are a LOT of options around here. (Actually, I'd put O'Connor in San Jose last, but that wasn't on your list. :D )

Since you're in Palo Alto, have you looked into Stanford? https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-clinics/arthritis-joint-replacement.html / https://ortho.stanford.edu/clinics/arthritis-and-joint-replacement.html My wife has had several procedures there in the past few years (non-joint related) and the doctors have been pretty great. Sometimes the red tape can be annoying, but that's hospitals for you. Were I looking all over again, I would definitely consider them.

Good luck with the insurance part. I should think several simple office visits for opinions wouldn't be something they would balk at, but you never know with our broken insurance model here in America :(
 
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cstinchcomb

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Thanks @dlp, so much for your reply, and your feedback on all these local options. This is exactly what I hoped someone who knows this area would post.

Stanford is not in our insurance network. I also worry about El Camino.

From my perspective the payment part of the entire health care system in the US needs an overhaul (I wish for single payer, or a National Health Service). We are in the "individual marketplace", and I tend to stress out about out of network charges. UCSF billing seems to work properly so far based on my husband's experience.
 
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cstinchcomb

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This is background, maybe it will help someone else here.

When I had my left hip done, we still lived in Colorado. I lived near Boulder for about 35 years, so I had friends -- and a huge support system at my gym, where I was a member for almost 30 of those years. When I got my x-rays in Feb 2014, it was a huge surprise -- I need a *what*? You're kidding. I run/bike/swim/lift/yoga/hike ... blah blah blah, standard Boulder athlete, age 53. Prior to the x rays, I figured I just needed to get my hip scoped, but it was way beyond that.

I then learned that several of my gym friends who, unbeknownst to me until then, had one or both hips replaced. I also have a friend who's an MD (not ortho), and had other friends who needed something fixed. The Place, if you are in Colorado -- is Steadman Clinic up in Vail.

I changed insurances three times in order to get something that covered Steadman (Rocky Mtn Health Plan). Then I found out that I needed a replacement and that Steadman didn't do replacements (2014). So I ended up (with Steadman Clinic's recommendation) at Colorado Joint Replacement at Porter in Denver. My experience was really pretty perfect.

Steadman now does replacements (Dr. Massa is now there, among others) -- but I'm not in Colorado anymore, there is no way that this insurance will cover that kind of thing, and I'd really rather be home afterwards with an orthopedist that's not two day's drive away.

At the time, I also did some research trying to figure out where else athletes went for replacements. But by the time I got in to see Dr. Yang at Colo Joint -- I was ready to have it done tomorrow, so I didn't actually interview multiple surgeons. I canceled the remaining appointments. If any other current Colorado peeps want me to dig them up, I can look in my records and let you know who else was on the list in 2014.
 

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As far as multiple consultations, my insurance carrier just considers them "office visits" and charges the office visit co-pay. Insurance didn't seem to care about the reason for the office visit. I spoke to 3 different surgeons before picking one. I would pick the surgeon first, and if I liked and trusted him/her, I would trust their judgement on the facility unless I'd heard really terrible things about the facility or it wasn't in my network.
 
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cstinchcomb

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Thanks, @Stripey, for your experience and perspective, I hadn't thought of it that way.

I'm attempting to rule out practices that seem likely to lead to out of network situations prior.

And best of luck for your upcoming new hip, I hope everything goes as perfectly as possible and that you have a good recovery with no set backs.
 
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cstinchcomb

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Calling to make a doctor's appointment is stressful for me, so I procrastinate. Silly me ... I forget how far in the future surgeons are for consultation appointments. I was hoping for something sooner than my 11 March appt with Dr. Hansen at UCSF.

So .. my next choice was Dr. Ferrari in Mountain View -- but he's no longer doing hips, only knees. Darn! Then again, I want someone who focuses on hips.

Moving on, made an appt with Dr Hartford, not until April 1. Sigh.

Now I guess I move on to some of these other docs, and also start calling regularly to ask about cancellations ...

On the plus side -- I've started using one crutch regularly, especially in the house. I'm in a lot less pain, with much better posture. Recommended.

Now off to the pool; swimming is the only exercise I can really do well at this stage of the game ...
 

dlp

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Hope you are able to get that new date! Good luck!

Keep us updated in the post-op area - I'm not committed to my new guy yet, so any experiences you have can be useful! (for me at least :heehee: )
 

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I had a right hip resurfacing on January 17th with Dr. Lannin and Dr. Hartford. Surgery was at Sequoia Hospital. They only do resurfaces once a month so they pair up for them. They mainly do THRs.

They have an extensive pre-op disinfection/anti-infection process that starts at home and is continued by the hospital. The hospital staff said Dr. Hartford created the process. This made me feel very good given that infection is a serious risk and also made me question why none of my wife's surgeries nor my left hip resurfacing had taken any extra precautions. I also appreciated a clean, private, and quiet room but I only stayed one night.

There was a minor hiccup. My post-op anti-inflammatory medication was not called into my pharmacy. I should have picked it before the surgery or had it delivered to the hospital. Instead, we tried to pick it up after discharge. Dr. Lannin was on-call and I had him paged so it was resolved in a few minutes.

I highly recommend Dr. Hartford or Dr. Lannin. Everything exceeded my expectations.

You might want to try to get on the schedule for surgery now. I don't know what the wait is for a THR. For my resurface it was several months - but they only do them once a month. I had my surgery scheduled at the same time I scheduled my appointment with Dr. Lannin, but I had met with Dr. Lannin about 18 months prior so I had some history. I didn't want to meet with the surgeon in December and then have to wait until March or April for the surgery. Hopefully, the wait for a THR is short.

Good luck! One of the nice things about the Bay Area is that you have a lot of quality options.
 
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cstinchcomb

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Thanks so much for posting about your experience about both Sequoia and Drs. Hartford and Lannin. And truly all the best for your recovery; I hope it's seamless.
 

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I think that I should make another appointment. I am not sure how my insurance will do with multiple consultations, but I think that they will probably pay for two. How has that gone for other people?
My insurance paid for two, but would only pay for a third if the two disagreed.

Good luck with your search and appointments.
 
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cstinchcomb

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Thanks. Two seems safe. I now have both appts within a few days of each other in early March. I called the office where both Dr. Hartford and Dr. Lannin work; Dr. Lannin was available sooner so I changed. I'll let everyone know what I think after I meet both docs. I kinda expect to like them both and decide based on earliest surgery date, since I am frankly ready to have it done today.

Swimming seems to be helping me; I can even still use my fins, which was a surprise. So I am trying to go as often as my schedule permits ... I've started taking one crutch in the car so that I don't kill myself when I'm out. The hiking poles / cane help much less at this stage of the game.
 
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cstinchcomb

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Hello Everyone. I had my appointment with Dr. Lannin (and Dr. Hartford) on Thursday afternoon, and got my X-rays done. Dr. Lannin is so kind, and so knowledgeable. Silly me, his expertise is in the posterior approach; Dr. Hartford is the anterior expert. After going through everything, he got Dr. Hartford in to see me during this same appointment. They knew that I had changed my appointment so that it would be sooner. My head is still spinning.

My Xrays are good and bad. The left side (2014) looks just like it should, yay. The right side is pretty awful. I have a cyst in the top which might explain the level of pain when I bear weight on that leg. I got a copy of the xrays, but haven't loaded them here; Dr. Lannin went through them with me and my husband in the office.

The idea that he was able to have Dr. Hartford come in to see me at this same time, wow, just wow. I have a surgery date (14 April) at Sequoia in Redwood City; it could have been even sooner but my husband needs something done at the end of this month so this is realistically the soonest that I can do it. Dr. Hartford has done about 2500 of these. I trust that he will do a good job. I am having my op notes sent to his office from Dr Yang at Colorado Joint Replacement at his request.

I am taking the weekend to consider it, but as of today I think that I will cancel Dr. Hansen at UCSF.
 

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Wonderful news that you have a date and it seems like it is a great practice since they brought in the other OS to see you. Congratulations on finding a surgeon you like.
 

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