Aurora man sets goal of running a marathon after hip replacement

September 16, 2022 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health

Terry McGinn, 70, of Aurora, began experiencing pain in his right hip seven years ago. As a marathon runner with a competitive spirit, McGinn knew if he had hip replacement surgery that his chances of running again were slim.

“I started with my chiropractor to see if he could help me, but it only went so far,” McGinn says.

McGinn then contacted Richard Erickson, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with Edward-Elmhurst Medical Group.

Dr. Erickson had replaced the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in McGinn’s right knee several years prior, so he felt like he was in good hands. At that time, Dr. Erickson told McGinn it would be difficult for him to run again at his previous pace.

“I started running when I was 10 and then ran competitively throughout my life, even finishing in the top 20 of the Chicago Marathon and the 20th overall in the Honolulu Marathon. I wasn’t ready to commit to hip replacement surgery not knowing if I’d ever be able to run competitively again,” he says.

McGinn continued to deal with his pain, but he realized his ability to be mobile was declining.

“My friends were wondering what was wrong with me since there were very few things I could do,” he says.

Three years after their initial conversation, McGinn contacted Dr. Erickson again to see if he’d be a candidate for hip replacement.

McGinn heard the news he waited so long to hear; prosthetics for hip replacement surgery have become more durable, so his hip replacement would ultimately wear less, resulting in a greater chance for him to run again. To speed McGinn's recovery, Dr. Erickson said he would make smaller incisions during surgery.

“Because we took a different approach by making smaller incisions, Terry's small tissue was preserved which resulted in less scarring and weakness after his surgery,” Dr. Erickson says. “He will also have less long-term issues with discomfort and weakness.”

While he was recovering from right hip replacement surgery, McGinn noticed his left knee was showing wear and tear. Dr. Erickson soon repaired his torn meniscus. McGinn knew his body would need to be in rest and recovery mode for some time.

Once he had the all-clear from his physician, McGinn began testing out his body and endurance at his local pool. He began running in the pool for three to four hours a day within the first week and a half.

“Not everyone is able to run on a hip replacement,” Dr. Erickson says. “A hip replacement's quality has a lot to do with the success of a surgery, but Terry's character and drive helped make all the difference.”

With his motivation to compete, McGinn continues to build on his workout regime one year after his surgery. He’s recently started a combination of walking and running, all while increasing his strength through weight bearing training.

“This surgery has been a lifesaver for me. I can’t imagine where I would have ended up if I kept limping the way I was,” he says.

“Dr. Erickson has made it possible for me to run again. I want to inspire the next generation of runners and break a world record in my age division.”

Learn more about treatments for hip issues at Edward-Elmhurst Health.

To learn more about Dr. Erickson or to schedule an appointment online, visit his online profile.

The team of orthopedic experts at Edward-Elmhurst Medical Group provides exceptional orthopedic, sports medicine and podiatry services for patients of all ages. We use the least invasive treatments necessary to help you get back to the activities you enjoy, as quickly as possible. Learn more.

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