The Miami Open and My Hip

Denis Shapovalov

On an excellent Pelican Bay bus trip to Key Biscayne on Monday, I learned some tennis lessons and then on Wednesday went to see my hip specialist for a change in plans.

Best Viewing

Again this year, I spent my viewing day not in my nose-bleed seats in the main stadium, but in the fifth row (south end) of the Grandstand court. You can really get an “up close and personal” view of the players, their movement and their strokes.

Incredible Power

I watched Verdasco beat Kokkinakis and Shapovalov beat Querry, both in three grueling sets.  It is simply amazing to me how HARD they can hit their strokes and the topspin brings their ball down inside the baseline.  I think many of us could actually swing harder than we do – if we had the confidence the ball would come down in play (and not hit the back fence!).

Next Year’s Site

While Key Biscayne is a great venue, it is challenging to get to – and even more challenging to leave in Miami rush hour traffic.  But next year the event will move north 45 minutes to the more conveniently-located Hard Rock Stadium (home of the Dolphins).  If you plan on going, better get your tickets early; because attendance will most likely be higher, given the location.

My New Hip?

On Wednesday, before going in for my scheduled stem cell shot in my ailing hip, I ventured back onto the doubles court; and after needing my patient partner to cover two-thirds of the court again, I decided I NEED A NEW HIP.

Thanks to all of you who responded vehemently to my original post with the strong message, “Don’t continue to suffer.  Get it done early!”  I then went to the hip doctor’s office and said let’s cancel the stem cell shot and schedule me for a full replacement as soon as possible.

So the wheels are in motion… blood test and EKG today with my regular doctor (to prove I am healthy enough to have it done) and then they will schedule surgery for most likely early May.  With a forecasted eight-week recovery period, I should be back on the New Hampshire tennis court the first of July!

Thanks for all the good advice.

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27 thoughts on “The Miami Open and My Hip

  1. Good choice! Best wishes for a speedy recovery and return to the courts.

    Michael, i did hear your voice whispering in my ear, “put off surgery as long as possible”; but my level of discomfort was strong enough to move me forward. As always, thanks for your good counsel. George

  2. Good luck George with operation!

    Kenny, thanks. Hope to get to see you sometime! PS You seeing the Hofstra controversy? George

  3. Watched Murray tank a match from that very location a few years back. He has a birth mark on one of his calves. 🙂

    Yer gonna *love* yer new hip!

    Kevin, thanks! george

  4. George: Buy “Pain Free” by Peter Egoscue and start doing the hip exercises now – will speed your rehab!! I had scheduled my second hip replacement on left side 2 years ago, found Egoscue’s exercises, cancelled the surgery, and am still OK 2 years later!!!!!!! Sean

    Sean, will do! thanks, george

  5. make sure they use the new method (anterior approach) so they don’t cut muscle. The dislocation issue is very low and GREAT DECISION

    Bill, you were one of my prime motivators! thanks. george

  6. I’m here at the Miami Open. Likewise I buy the grandstand passes and watch “up close and personal”. The past two days we had front row seats directly behind the baseline, my preferred perspective. Tonight…Go Danielle!

    George, great decision to do the total hip replacement. I assume anterior? Let me know how it goes and I will share some more insights based on successful surgery, rehab and recovery.

    Alan, enjoy the matches! yes, i believe it will be anterior. thanks, george

  7. Good luck with the new hip, George! Half the guys I play with here have had one or both replaced and they’re back in serious tennis action. And hey, are any of you Floridians planning on coming to Chicago for the Laver Cup next September?

    Lenny, i have been seeing the ads on Tennis Channel already! george

  8. Hi George
    My wife is booked for a hip replacement on 16th May here in Ireland so will be able to compare notes . My son works as a physio in a specialist orthopaedic unit so will be interested to compare notes on post operation therapy . Best of luck George . P.S sent an email to Larry Turville as I met him a few times at World Team events in Europe and was good to hear him in good positive mood.
    Cheers Bryan

    Bryan, i hope your wife and i are both running around by July! Thanks. george

  9. George, Good luck and smart decision! Remember what I said about moderation.
    The poster boy for what you’re having done is Jim Whiting. You might want to communicate with him some time.
    Again, all the best! Phil

    Phil, “All things in moderation.” Thanks, george

  10. Good decision – you should be ready to compete in your 2nd year in 75’s and compete well! Be the best rehab person in history, do it by the numbers.

    Winder, still one more tournament this year (Longboat Key in December) to look forward to. If you know me, you know how i will approach rehab! thanks, george

  11. Good luck, George…You’ll be back in October, right?

    Mark, one of the prime reasons i am having it done NOW! thanks, george

  12. Having waited far too long for both hips to be replaced I am glad to hear that your are scheduling the procedure- ANTERIOR approach ONLY!!!! recovery is astoundingly fast-best of luck

    Doc, your story was one of my prime motivators. thanks, george

  13. George, good plan, if you have it done soon you’ll be ready by next winter. On Miami it is amazing how hard they can whack it and for how long. How about Danielle Collins? Wow, what a backhand.

    Hanging in there from Houston. Didn’t think it would happen with a three week Chemo, but my hair is starting to go. Hopefully, I have enough left to look respectable. Chemo seemed to work shrinking the tumors some. Radiation to start in a few weeks.

    Larry, GREAT to hear they are shrinking. On hair loss, join the club! george

  14. George, Get it done. Get it done as fast as possible and then rehab like mad. I had both knees done 11-yrs ago and have had NO pain since then. I can run about as well as I could before and I classify it as a total miracle. You will love your new hip and the pain will be long gone. I wish you nothing but success and best of luck old buddy.

    Charlie, looking forward to getting back on the court and seeing you in January! thanks, george

  15. Good luck George. Hope that you are back on the courts soon, but take time to fully recover (easier said than done). I broke my wrist (fell down going for a shot) in January. Hard to stay off the courts and fell again after coming back too soon, causing a several week setback in recovery. Tough getting so clumsy as we get older.

    Dave, when i came back (too soon) after my prostate cancer surgery, i fell on the FIRST POINT! thanks, george

  16. Speedy recovery! Hope it all goes well and you’re up to speed again soon 🙂

    Joann, thanks. and thanks for all your good advice! george

  17. Good luck George and I’ll see you in rehab after my bi-lateral knee replacements in three weeks.

    Steve. Does that mean both at the same time? George

  18. Best of luck and speedy recovery! See you fully recovered at Newks!

    Rambo. That’s my plan! Thanks. George

  19. Good luck and a speedy recovery. Take it easy on that Wilkie fellow when you come back!

    George. I have to… he has been carrying me for a month! Thanks. George

  20. Good luck, George! I would try to start physical therapy as soon after the surgery as your surgeon thinks you’re ready. Getting back on the court will be great motivation for doing the work required to get your strength and mobility back.

    Joe. My challenge will be not over doing it! Thanks. George

  21. George,

    Looking forward to having the Open at Hard Rock next year. I could not stomach going down to Key Biscayne. Since the Marlins played there and I still do my NFL gig there, I know how much better it will be for access and exit.

    Although total hip replacement should be a last option, it sounds like you have completed those options and are ready. Because you are very fit, you should be a good candidate with excellent chance of a speedy and complete recovery. Good luck.

    Larry, thanks and thanks for all your great advice! george

  22. Congratulations, George, on a courageous and timely decision!
    Naturally, wish you a successful surgery, rehabilation, and full recovery!
    Look forward to playing against a partly-bionic opponent who will be better than ever!

    Nick, thanks. I look forward to hitting with you this summer at the lake! george

  23. Enjoy your column, please continue posting through, and past your operation and rehab. I have had one hip done and 12 years later have no problems. I did what they called a “muscle sparing approach” – not sure what they imply by anterior approach, because mine was anterior approach too, but the muscle sparing allowed me to start rehab immediately without fear of dislocation. May need the other one, but you never know. Best Wishes!

    Thomas, i think they are one in the same… going in through the backside (posterior approach) means cutting much more muscle. thanks, george

  24. Best choice as far as I can tell, George. Good luck and have a speedy, full and successful recovery. You will be like a new man!!

    Marty, thanks (but DeDe says she likes the “old man”). 🙂

  25. Great decision, George…it had to happen anyway, so it’s best to do it on your timetable. After the operation, listen to your rehab guy and don’t come back too early.
    Although I like Bill Plummer a whole lot, your surgeon will dictate anterior or posterior….advantages to both.

    John, trying to come back as soon as possible is me! Thanks. George

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