Some men have jobs. Others have a calling. For Gunnery
Sergeant David Kirscht, it seems firmly the latter.
“Being a U.S. Marine is the core of what my entire adult life has
been about,” said Kirscht, 41.
But years of intense physical
training – running with a 35-pound pack, not to mention the wear and tear of three combat tours – put Kirscht’s patriotic calling in peril when pain in his left hip developed.
Diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hip, a condition resulting from the deterioration of the hip joint’s protective, cushioning cartilage, Kirscht was told that his condition might be a “career-ender.”
“It was scary,” said the almost 20-year veteran, not one to flinch
at pain or discomfort. Years of non-surgical remedies and physical
rehabilitation followed, but none were ultimately victorious over
Kirscht’s constant pain.
Kirscht knew he needed to take
action, so he sought treatment at the NHRMC Cape Fear Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, home to Eastern North Carolina’s largest orthopedic program.
Here, Kirscht underwent total hip replacement surgery by one of the region’s finest orthopedic surgeons and orthopedic nursing teams.
In hip replacement, the wornout top, or “ball,” of the femur closest to the hip is removed and replaced with a metal prosthetic ball, explained Daxton Steele, MD, who performed Kirscht’s hip replacement. The socket into which that ball fits is cleaned of arthritic bone and lined with a metal, ceramic or plastic cup to
accommodate the prosthetic ball, forming a new hip joint. The
procedure is performed under general or spinal anesthesia and
usually lasts between one and two hours.
“I could tell everyone at the NHRMC Orthopedic Specialty Hospital – doctors, nurses, everyone – were really dedicated to orthopedic care,” said Kirscht of his experience.
The battle of hip pain fought and won, Kirscht walked away from NHRMC Cape Fear Orthopedic Specialty Hospital a new man: “I am now totally pain free, and I am now able to meet all the rigorous physical standards that we have in the Marines.”
And meeting these standards means Kirscht can continue
meeting his own standards, the ones that had him find not just a
job but a calling: “I got back what matters most to me … the ability
to continue to serve my country as a U.S. Marine.”
If you would like to speak with someone at the NHRMC Cape Fear Orthopedic Hospital, call 452.8110.