You could describe Dave Gourley as “active.” He has a full-time job with Ringgold County Secondary Roads, a part-time job assisting a local farmer, and his own 200-acre farm to manage. The 56-year old also has a wife, three children and six grandchildren. So he’s on the go most of the time. “My hobby is work!” he says. So when a “dull throbbing pain” took over his attempts to sleep, and his days were spent limping and dragging his leg around, he knew something needed to be done. After a referral from his physician Dwain Crain, D.O., Dave met with Shehada Homedan, M.D., Ringgold County Hospital’s orthopedic surgeon. “He said the meniscus, the pad between the ball and the socket in my hip, was just plain worn out. And he recommended a new kind of replacement surgery, Birmingham Hip Resurfacing,” said Dave. Designed for younger, active people, Dave’s surgery was in November 2012, and was the first of its kind performed at RCH.
His recovery was long and Dave was anxious to be off his crutches and cleared to go back to work. During this time, he spent hours working with Ruth Smith, PT, in the Physical Therapy department of the hospital. “Actually, the physical therapy begins before the surgery,” he explained. “I started doing specific exercises to build up my leg, hip, and buttocks muscles beforehand. And then I was back at it right after surgery. Ruth was just great. She explained everything, wrote it down, and even provided pictures so I’d know what to do at home. She was very encouraging – although she did get a little stern with me when she needed to.” Dr. Homedan had advised Dave that it would be about two years before he completely forgot about the surgery and recovery process. So he was dismayed when, two years later, his second hip required the same treatment. “I thought, why me? But I realized that it was just something that happens. I’m very active, and I just wore them out.” Knowing what to expect, Dave started seriously exercising to prepare for the surgery. He recovered more quickly and was able to return to work sooner.
“I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Homedan, the surgical staff and the nursing staff,” said Dave. “People in this community ought to be so proud. With the staff and the doctors, I knew I didn’t have anything to worry about. I’ve got nothing against Des Moines, but the fact that I was having the surgeries at home meant so much. It was comforting, and in my opinion, that helps with recovery.”
Dave’s shoulder bothers him from an old high-school wrestling injury. And his knee “sounds like it has gravel in it.” But he knows he can continue to get quality care at Ringgold County Hospital. He jokes, “As long as they keep making replacement parts, I know I’ll be ok!”