In the Quad Cities martial arts community, Duane Spellious, Moline, IL, stands strong among the best.
The 7th degree Master has 35 years of training under his black belt, and has taught thousands of students. Now he vows his 2 new hip replacements in the span of 8 weeks aren’t going to keep him down.
“I’m living the dream and wouldn’t change a thing,” he declares.
Despite his young age at 55, osteoarthritis in his hips began to limit his ability to kick and move.
Hip “feeling funny near my thigh”
“I was still teaching kickboxing, but my hip was feeling funny in the groin near my thigh.
“My right leg was also starting to hurt, and I was having trouble sleeping.”
A black belt student in his class, ORA Orthopedics’ physician, Dr. Scott Collins, noticed Duane wasn’t walking right.
“He took an X-ray and said, ‘I don’t know how you walk because of all of the arthritis in your hips.’”
Total hip replacement needed
Dr. Collins referred Duane to ORA Orthopedics’ Hip and Knee Center, and Total Joint Replacement Surgeon, Dr. Edward Connolly.
Dr. Connolly performed 2 total hip replacements in the span of 8 weeks.
“Duane had significant arthritis in both hips,” Dr. Connolly says. “It’s becoming more common to see younger patients who are active and also suffer from arthritis.”
Despite 3 decades and thousands of hours of jumping, kicking, and punching, Dr. Connolly says it’s not necessarily the martial arts that caused Duane’s arthritis.
“He had a predisposition for it. Arthritis can be genetic and some people are just made that way. There is no known cause.”
Quad-City surgeon explains arthritis
Dr. Connolly explains that arthritis occurs as the joint surface wears away and bones start to rub together.
“Think of a chicken bone,” he begins. “The end of the bone has a smooth white surface called articular cartilage. The cartilage allows the bones to glide over one another.
“When that cartilage wears away on human bones, we get bone rubbing on bone. Injury can cause that type of damage, or just wear and tear as we age.”
Duane credits both Dr. Connolly’s expertise and 3 decades of fitness for his successful recovery.
“ORA has been fantastic,” he says. “I haven’t had any problems. I was literally home and walking the next day without a walker. Two weeks later, I was teaching again.”
Advancements in total hip replacement
Duane’s quick recovery is also due in part to advancements in total joint replacement. The surgical techniques, as well as the total joint replacement components, are designed to meet the demands of active patients like Duane.
“A total hip replacement involves removing all the damaged bone and cartilage within the joint, and replacing it with a new prosthetic implant,” explains Dr. Connolly.
“The new hip joint, consisting of a metal cup in the patient’s hip socket, along with a metal stem in the patient’s femur with a ball attached, allows the patient to regain a smooth and fluid range of motion.”
Quad-City Taekwondo master grateful for new hips
Duane’s martial arts training has also kept him strong in spirit.
“I always said, ‘If it was time for surgery, let’s get it done!’ I don’t want to feel like an 80 year-old with pain at my age of 55. Instead, I want to feel like a 55 year-old when I’m 80!”
Duane also says that perseverance and an indomitable spirit are 2 of the Taekwondo tenets that keep him looking forward.
“If our bodies are temples, then my surgery has just enhanced who I am. I have friends who have recovered from total hip surgery, and they are as strong as they ever were. This is not a setback. My new hips will help strengthen me and improve my quality of life without pain. Remember, age is just a number, so keep the positive attitude!”
See you at the Dojang, Duane!