Running isn’t just a hobby for Burr Ridge, IL resident Dana Potts—it’s an Olympic sport. Participating in the 100m, 200m, and 400m races in the U.S. Men’s Illinois Senior Olympics, Potts set a record in the 400m event and earned eight gold medals between 2014-2016.
With a track record like that, and goals for the future, Potts didn’t have any room in his training schedule for a painful setback.
Shortly after he set a new state record in the 400m dash, Potts felt a new sensation while visiting his daughter on her college campus.
“Emily and I were shooting baskets. I felt pain in my hip when I jogged over to retrieve the ball and I thought, ‘Oh, I’m just tired.’ But it didn’t get better.”
Potts assumed his pain was due to fatigue or over-training, but he wanted to be sure there wasn’t something more.
He went to see close friend and Midwest Orthopedics at Rush sports medicine specialist, Dr. Charles Bush Joseph, who examined him carefully, studied his MRI, and diagnosed Potts with advanced osteoarthritis in the hip. He explained that a hip replacement was his best option for pain relief and recommended Potts see Dr. Richard Berger, who performs minimally invasive hip replacement surgery. Dr. Berger’s innovative outpatient procedure allows patients to leave the hospital the same day of surgery. Potts chose to move forward with this unique anterior approach that would not only minimize pain, but also provide a fast recovery.
During the exam, Dr. Berger diagnosed Potts with hip dysplasia, a condition in which the ‘ball and socket’ of the hip joint don’t fit together properly. This can gradually wear away the cartilage in the hip joint, often resulting in osteoarthritis.
Dr. Berger concurred that the best treatment for Potts was a hip replacement.
Concerned about his athletic future, Potts asked if he’d be able to sprint again. Dr. Berger looked him in the eye and replied, “If you were a sprinter before the pain set in, then you can be a sprinter once I get rid of the pain for you.” This was just the answer Potts was looking for and he began to feel confident about someday running his way to first place again.
Potts appreciated Dr. Berger’s minimally invasive, outpatient approach to surgery. He was intrigued by the fact that Dr. Berger’s patients begin walking the same day of surgery. Dr. Berger explained that his technique eliminates the need to cut through muscles, tendons, or ligaments, allowing patients to get back to physical activities at an exponential rate.
Potts’ hip replacement was a success and, as promised, he was walking and on the road to recovery the same day. Just two days after surgery, Potts went back to work. After 10 days, he was walking on the treadmill. After one month, he played a little basketball. At six months, he was back on the track training.
With his new hip and the green light from Dr. Berger, Potts went on to win three gold medals (100m, 200m, and 400m) in the 2016 Illinois Senior Olympic Games. Potts didn’t have a doubt in his mind that he was going to lose.
“I felt very confident in my chances for winning,” he added, giving credit to Dr. Berger’s surgery, his dedication to physical therapy and his rigorous training exercises.
Today, Potts has retired from competing in the Senior Olympics, but continues to run and maintain his physical capabilities, ceaselessly testing to see how far he can go with his pain free hip.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Richard Berger, call Dr. Berger’s New Patient Liaison, Rachel Schiller, directly at 312-432-2557