For Raymond Roy, “Even a bad day on the tennis court is a good day.”
Raymond, now retired following a long and successful career in academic medicine, has played the sport since high school. When he began experiencing severe left hip pain, it interfered with more than just his chosen sport.
“I had been walking three or four miles a day, and I had to slow down because of the joint pain,” he says. “I got to where I had trouble walking a quarter of a mile without having pain in my left hip.”
That led him to consider total hip replacement surgery with Wake Forest Baptist Health orthopaedic surgeon and joint specialist Dr. John Shields, who had performed Raymond’s successful total right knee replacement in 2017. Following that surgery, Raymond had returned to the tennis court within six months.
“I knew if I needed more orthopaedic surgery, I’d go back to Dr. Shields,” Raymond says.
That day arrived in June 2020, with Dr. Shields performing total hip replacement surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Health Davie Medical Center. Raymond calls it “a non-event” – surgery early one morning, released to go home by mid-afternoon, walking around the block the next day without pain and on no opioid-based pain medications.
“I took one day off,” Raymond says. “I didn’t require a walker and never used a cane. I literally walked upstairs the evening of my hip surgery to go to bed rather than sleep downstairs in a makeshift bed. It was absolutely remarkable.”
Rehabilitation also went well. His physical therapy ended after two sessions because he had already met the goals therapists had set for him. Raymond says he feels fortunate to have had the surgery before the pain got too great and while he remained in good physical condition.
“I thought, do I get it taken care of now or just put it off further?” he says. “I said no. I’m 75. I want to be active. A lot of people put off surgery two or three years, and then they don’t have as much muscle tone. I had great surgeons and the anesthesia went well, but I also think I chose a sweet spot to get this done that I didn’t fully appreciate until after the surgery.”
Getting past his hip joint pain and retiring has given him more time to play where he likes, at the Wake Forest Tennis Center in Winston-Salem and the Taylor Tennis Center in Clemmons.
“Part of enjoying retirement is being intellectually stimulated but also being physically active,” he says. “Tennis happens to be my sport.”
And with a new left hip joint, Raymond is back in action.
“Our team of joint replacement surgeons specializes in hip and knee replacements and relieving joint pain. It’s what we do every day,” Dr. Shields says. “Every patient deserves state-of-the-art care that gets them back to living their best life.”