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Steve's Story

Two miles felt like 25

Dr. Presutti and Steve Ryder

Steve Ryder was in the last stretch of his descent on Mount Washington last summer and didn’t think he would make it. “Two miles felt like 25,” said Steve, of Keene. When he returned from his hike, his left leg hurt. “I thought I had a tight muscle and that I could walk it off or stretch it out,” he said. Instead, he suffered in pain for the next several weeks. “I never really recovered,” he said. “I couldn’t bend down or lift my leg to put on my shoe - I had to sit on the bottom stair to do it.” In the years leading up to that point, Steve said he’d had intermittent pain in his left leg, enough that his gait earned its own nickname - the “Ryder limp.” For Steve, 52, who owns and operates two businesses, serves on several boards of local businesses and organizations, and is an avid hiker, golfer and bicyclist, it soon became difficult to maintain his active lifestyle.

He called his Primary Care Physician, Dr. David Hall, who ordered X-rays of his leg. The results showed his problem wasn’t his leg - it was his hip. Steve made an appointment with Dr. Anthony Presutti, an Orthopaedic Surgeon. “Steve had severe arthritis in his hip causing significant pain and limitations,” Dr. Presutti said. “Arthritis damages cartilage which allows joints to move smoothly. When you lose cartilage, it can lead to pain and stiffness.”Steve Ryder

Steve had no family history of arthritis, and based on referrals from friends, he decided to go forward with Dr. Presutti’s recommendation for hip replacement surgery. Before his surgery, Steve was given a presentation on what to expect and told to plan to be out of work for six weeks. “Dr. Presutti was straightforward and honest with his answers,” he said. “And I had a lot of questions.”

Steve’s new hip is made from titanium, ceramic and plastic. Dr. Presutti shares that the combination of materials minimizes the wear of the implant over time, therefore lessening the possibility he’ll need another replacement in the future.

After his surgery, Steve received inpatient care at CMC/DHK. “I woke up feeling at home,” he said of his stay. “Everyone on staff was caring, kind and respectful - I had their undivided attention and felt I was in good hands.”

Although Steve was able to walk the day after his surgery, it was only the beginning of his recovery. He worked with CMC/DHK’s physical therapy and occupational therapy staff to learn the proper exercises so he could resume his daily routine. He used crutches for six weeks, followed by regular physical therapy appointments at CMC/DHK for six months. “I was frustrated at first because I kept thinking (my recovery) was taking too long,” he said. “But the physical therapists were so encouraging. They were there to help guide me through this process.” Steve’s now back to walking, hiking and even bicycling again. “There’s not a lot of limit on what I can do.”