It all started with a pain while playing golf a few years ago. Buddy Lewis of Dalton scheduled an appointment with his doctor to pinpoint the cause of his pain and was surprised to learn that his hip was deteriorating and would need replacement.
“I kept putting it off,” he said. “I had cortisone shots and physical therapy, but that only helped for so long.” When the time finally came for Buddy to seek hip replacement surgery, he made an appointment with a surgeon at the other end of the state.
“I’m a Boston guy,” he said, referring to his home town. “I figured the best place to go for surgery was in Boston. I didn’t think twice about here.” But then Buddy ran into Mark Sprague, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon with Berkshire Orthopaedics Associates. The two were friends from the days when Buddy owned the Pittsfield Colonials pro-baseball franchise and Dr. Sprague was the team physician.
“Mark told me about his colleague, Dr. Kevin Mitts,” Buddy continued. “Anterior Approach hip replacement surgery is one of Dr. Mitts’ specialty areas - he’s done many of these and his patients have great outcomes."
The revolutionary Anterior Approach hip replacement is an example of leading-edge techniques used by orthopaedic surgeons at BMC, which leaves key muscle groups surrounding the hip and thigh bones undisturbed. The result is less pain, faster recovery, and improved mobility soon after surgery.
“Mark also asked me to think about what it would be like driving back and forth from Boston for follow-up appointments after surgery,” Buddy said. “His recommendation was good enough for me. I made an appointment with Dr. Mitts.”
Buddy recalls that the pre-operative process was “a breeze.” But the true value of Berkshire Medical Center’s Joint Replacement Program was revealed once he arrived at the hospital for surgery.
“From the moment I checked in until I left, there wasn’t one glitch in the process,” Buddy said. Everything was great. The surgery went very well, and everyone involved in my care at the hospital and my after-care when I returned home were perfect. I can’t say enough about Berkshire Medical Center. I would recommend the hospital 100 percent.”
Buddy also noted the great atmosphere in the BMC wing that is devoted to joint replacement surgery, and his ability to call the cafeteria at any time and order food. “It was almost like a hotel with room service,” he said.
He described his recovery as easy. “I was driving in 10 days and back to work part time in two weeks,” he said. “For rehab at home, I just walked. Within weeks, it was like I never had surgery.”
BMC is listed among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Joint Replacement by Healthgrades, and also earned the organization’s 2015 Joint Replacement Excellence Award that placed it in the top 5% of hospitals in the nation for joint replacement. The program includes a team of orthopaedic surgeons, physician assistants, specialty care nurses, technicians and rehabilitation specialists who work together to implement best-practice standards of care.
Several years ago, Buddy had a knee replaced at a Boston hospital. Now, his other knee is acting up and will need surgery.
“There’s no question. It will be done at BMC,” he said. “I’m a very satisfied customer and I’m coming back.”