Ray's story

A smoother ride

Hip replacement procedures help cyclist keep riding

Ray Haas was an avid runner, cyclist, and Habitat for Humanity member when, in his early fifties, new pain brought him to a halt.

The pain felt like it was caused by a groin injury rather than a hip one, and occurred mostly when he was at rest. Because it disturbed his sleep, the injury made it hard to feel like himself even when he wasn’t in pain.

Several of his friends soon referred him to University of Iowa Sports Medicine. After an initial consult, he was referred to Nicolas Noiseux, MD, MS, FRCSC, who recommended hip replacement surgery.

X-rays showed that Ray had a severe case of osteoarthritis. This condition often requires a joint replacement procedure, but Ray feared surgery would put an end to his active lifestyle.

Dr. Noiseux assured Ray he would not have to give up the activities he loved. In fact, Dr. Noiseux was confident that Ray would still be able to bicycle 5,000 miles per year after his surgeries.

Exceptional care before, during, and after surgery

Ray did an extensive amount of pre-habilitation work prior to his surgeries to prepare for his recovery. Each surgery took less than 90 minutes, and afterward he required only two days in hospital.

During his hospital stays, Ray says he appreciated the care provided by the nursing staff the most. Nurses checked on him around the clock and made sure he had everything he needed to stay comfortable.

After his time in the hospital, Ray went straight into a rehabilitation program. He returned to work only eight days later.

Back on his feet and getting active again

It didn’t take long for Ray to return to his active lifestyle—only eight or nine weeks. During the tenth week following his surgeries, Ray was back at the gym. He even ran an indoor mile in under seven minutes under Dr. Noiseux’s supervision.

“My hip replacements have virtually not slowed me at all,” Ray says.

Today, Ray spends much of his free time on his mountain bike, riding wooded trails and around Sugar Bottom Recreational Area.

In addition to his athletic endeavors, Ray is a longtime participant in Habitat for Humanity. He has helped build houses both here and internationally for nearly 30 years.

Neither Ray’s athletic activities nor his volunteer work would be possible without the hip replacement surgeries Ray received at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. “Dr. Noiseux and his work have allowed me to do things that I’ve been doing for years and will do for years to come.”

Considering a joint replacement?

For anyone considering hip or other joint replacement surgery, Ray stresses the importance of deciding early. The sooner you decide, he says, the sooner you can get back to feeling like yourself again.