Peter Walters: Back to Heavy Lifting at Age 61

Comeback Stories - American Hip Institute & Orthopedic Specialists

Peter Walters, 61, spends his days at Wheaton College as a professor in the Applied Health Science department. In his free time, he lives an active life. From biking long distances to strength training, his passion for sport is something he was not willing to give up when he started experiencing pain in his left hip five years ago.

“It started with a low-grade, sporadic discomfort that was on and off throughout the day, and eventually grew into continuous pain,” said Peter.

It was at Wheaton College where he received a referral from a colleague that would get him on the road to recovery.

Peter came to American Hip Institute and Orthopedic Specialists (AHI) and described his pain. Dr. Benjamin Domb knew that given Peter’s age and severe arthritis most surgeons would have recommended a full-on hip replacement. But that would have been the end of power lifting for Peter, thus, a non-starter.

AHI specializes in cutting edge procedures. Dr. Domb and his team don’t default to the obvious without considering all of the advanced solutions that can support an outcome that patients need to keep the lifestyles they love. He knew there was a way for Peter to be relieved of his pain that didn’t demand he put down the dumbbells forever.

The solution was a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing, an alternative to hip replacement in which surgeons replace only the surface of the ball and socket with a metal coating instead of replacing the entire ball and socket. This procedure conserves more of the patient’s own bone and allows them to go back to high levels of activity.

It’s a unique hip resurfacing procedure that only a handful of centers in the country preform consistently – and a terrific alternative to standard hip replacement for active people, particularly those like Peter who have arthritis and want to return to their very active lifestyle.

“It was one of the most dramatic alleviations of pain I’ve ever experienced,” said Peter. In fact, when a year or so later the same pain popped up in Peter’s other hip, he knew exactly what to do.

“I’d been down this road before,” he said. “I went straight to Dr. Domb.”

Since recovering from both hip procedures, Peter is looking fit as ever. In fact, only eight weeks after his second surgery, Peter biked from Norfolk, Virginia to Charleston, South Carolina – adding up to about 700 miles in one week. Not to mention, he’s back to squatting more than 300 pounds. Both impressive feats, even for those who haven’t had double hip surgery.

Peter didn’t have to choose between alleviating his hip pain and activities that bring him joy. Just the opposite; the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing got him back on the bike and lifting again, without pain to slow him down.