Chris Clevenger



54-year-old school teacher, Chris Clevenger, was told he was too young to be having the kind of hip problems and pain he was experiencing. He was having shooting pain down his left leg, but was told to stretch better and incorporate physical therapy into his life instead.

“I knew there had to be something someone could do that would last. I tried everything that was recommended, but the pain just kept getting worse,” recalls Chris. A friend of mine’s daughter works for Dr. Joseph Locker, an orthopedic surgeon at Ocala Health, and she convinced me to finally call and get a second opinion. “From the first time I talked with Dr. Locker, I was amazed. He was the first doctor who actually showed me my x-rays and explained what was creating all the pain. Meeting him really answered all my questions.”

Dr. Locker and Chris decided on an anterior hip replacement that would be minimally invasive and far superior to the posterior hip replacements that put patients in recovery for months. Going in to replace the hip from the front of the hip means far less tissue damage and pain for the patient. “I was really thrilled that he was able to use this approach, because a lot of doctors aren’t certified to do it yet.”

On the day of his surgery, Chris went to the hospital a little nervous, but confident in Dr. Locker and the staff at West Marion Community Hospital. “I finally felt like I was in really good hands,” says Chris.

Since the surgery is minimally invasive, Chris was cleared to go home the same day his surgery took place. “I actually never had any real pain,” he says “They used an inter-muscle pain killer, something that was inserted into the incision before they sewed me up and it was fantastic. Within hours, I was up walking around farther than they even wanted me to go. In fact, the walker they gave me to use was slowing me down, so I just picked it up and carried it down the hall!” After trying to take it easy for six weeks after surgery, Chris is as active as ever and back to all the things he loves. He rides his bike to school every day, swims several hours a week and works out at the gym. He’s also a white water canoeist who’s now finally able to spend as much time as he wants on the water. “Because you steer a boat with your hips, I could really only stay in the boat for about 40 minutes before the pain would start up. Now, I’m in there for hours before I’m worn out. It’s incredible!”