Well - Summer 2014 - page 12-13

| SUMMER 2014
SUMMER 2014 |
imWood was
part of figure
skating’s golden
age. He won
a silver medal in the 1968
Winter Olympics in Grenoble
with his daring jumps and
graceful turns, and he was the
world figure skating champion
in 1969 and 1970. After
competition, he starred in
popular programs like the Ice
Capades and Holiday on Ice.
Even after Wood moved on
to a career in investment bank-
ing and international finance,
however, the 65-year-old
former Olympian never hung
up his skates. Up until about
two years ago, he could still
perform a respectable double
axel—a double jump with
2½ rotations. That’s when he
started having serious pain in
his right hip—the one that took
the load every time he landed
on the ice after a jump.
Wood, who lives in Camaril-
lo, saw his doctor for what he
hoped a course of physical
therapy would mend. But the
X-rays showed severe deterio-
ration in his hip, which landed
him in the office of Gregory
Tchejeyan, MD, an ortho-
pedic surgeon at Los Robles
Hospital & Medical Center.
The doctor took one look at
the images and recommended
hip replacement surgery, a
procedure in which diseased
bone and cartilage are re-
placed with a prosthesis. “He
said I needed bionic parts,”
Wood quips.
Surprisingly Wood had never
experienced a serious orthope-
dic injury during his profes-
sional career. “In five years of
performance, with eight to 10
performances a week, I never
missed a performance due to
injury,” he says.
Wood chalks up his good
run to the painstaking disci-
pline of doing “figures”—the
once compulsory part of the
sport that was dropped from
competition programs in the
1990s. “It involves very spe-
cific postures and very slow,
controlled motion,” he says.
“Not only do you learn how
to move it and when to move
it, but you’re also creating the
musculature to move it.”
He believes that training and
a lifelong weight-lifting regi-
men may have helped protect
his joint for as long as they
did. Wood had reservations
about surgery, however. “My
father-in-law had hip surgery,
and they cut through every-
thing—muscles and tendons,”
he says. “It seemed to me that
you never get back to your
previous function.”
Luckily hip replacement
has come a long way in recent
years. Dr. Tchejeyan took a
relatively new approach to
Wood’s hip surgery. Called
percutaneously-assisted total
hip arthroplasty (PATH), the
minimally invasive procedure
requires a smaller incision
than traditional surgery and
preserves most tendon at-
tachments. As a result, studies
show, patients experience less
pain and blood loss and enjoy
shorter hospital stays and a
quicker recovery.
“Most patients come off the
cane or crutches after 10 days
versus a month with traditional
surgery,” says Dr. Tchejeyan.
“They resume light activities in
three or four weeks versus six
weeks, and their limp is gone in
three weeks versus six to eight
weeks. Basically returning to
function is twice as fast.”
The prosthesis, or artificial
ball and socket, used in today’s
hip replacement surgeries has
experienced similar innovation.
“The ceramic bearing and poly-
ethylene liner that Tim got is the
most tolerant to the body. It has
a long shelf life and wears well,”
says Dr. Tchejeyan.
The prosthesis’ modular system
allows a surgeon to createmore
than 100 combinations of angles
and lengths to preciselymatch each
patient’s unique anatomy. Older
models had just four or five options.
“There are big misconceptions
about hip replacement,” Dr.
Tchejeyan adds. “But it’s not your
grandmother’s hip surgery. After-
wards, across the board patients
say, ‘Why did I wait so long?’”
Wood’s experience when he
was admitted toThousand Oaks
Surgical Hospital, a campus of Los
Robles Hospital, last December
allayed his remaining fears.
“Surgery is a scary event,” he says.
“But the staff was really attentive
and caring. You’re not ‘just a
number’ here.”
Wood spent just two days in the
hospital and was actually on his
feet a few hours after coming out
of anesthesia. “The first week was
rough,” he admits. “The second
week got better, and I was up and
moving around a bit.” Physical
therapy helped him begin to get
his strength back.
Wood started a light weight-
training program in the fourth
and fifth weeks post-surgery, and
by February he was back on the
ice. “Once you realize you can do
a fair amount of work and you’re
not going to hurt it and it won’t be
painful, you’re good to go,” he says.
“When patients are motivated to
get better, to do their part in rehab,
it makes a big difference,” says Dr.
Tchejeyan. “I didn’t have to coach
Tim to do better. He had a goal, and
obviously he had the discipline.”
The prosthesis has a 30-year
lifespan, which should give Wood
a lot more time to enjoy the ice.
“I want to be able to skate for the
rest of my life,” he says.
Total Hip Replacement
(total hip arthroplasty)
Doctors remove damaged bone and carti-
lage and replace it with prosthetic components
to restore function and reduce pain.
Total Knee Replacement
(total knee arthroplasty)
The damaged cartilage and part of the
underlying knee bones are removed and re-
placed with metal components that recreate
the surface of the joint. A plastic spacer is
placed between the metal components to
create a smooth, gliding surface.
Disk Replacement 
Doctors remove the damaged disk and
replace it with artificial parts. That allows
the spinal segment to keep some flexibility
and maintain more normal motion.
Cool As Ice
Cool As Ice
Surgery is a scary event, but the
staff was really attentive and caring.
You’re not ‘just a number’ here.
Wood displays his
Olympic and World
For more information on
our Total Joint Program,
call 805-370-4694 or visit
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