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Follow Through

Posted on October 5, 2016 in Patient Stories

Cozadds keep moving with help from FSR

How do you respond when your orthopedic surgeon guesses that you’re not very good at golf? Phil Cozadd, 75, took that diagnosis in stride, because the doctor was right.

Paul Yau, MD, could tell that the Tellico Village resident had trouble turning at the hip. Yau surmised that would affect a golf game.

Phil and his wife have been active for years and have taken great care of their health, which has allowed them to enjoy many adventures in retirement. But last fall the arthritis in Phil’s hip began to bother him more than it ever had before.

Then on Dec. 31, 2015, the couple set off on a hike, took a wrong turn, and ended up trekking nine miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “The next day he could barely walk,” Lyn Cozadd says.

The couple began the process of elimination to find a nonsurgical treatment that would cure Phil’s pain. There wasn’t one. When he was told it was time to seek out a surgeon for a hip replacement, he didn’t argue.

The Cozadds had an advantage in that Lyn had been a board member for a community hospital in the city where they lived before retirement. She knew what she wanted in a hospital and in a surgeon for her husband, and she knew how to find it.

Research and intuition led her to Dr. Yau, a board certified physician who specializes in replacement of hips and knees. His specialty practice keeps him current with the latest surgical techniques and advances in orthopedic care. They also decided Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center was the best option for Phil’s procedure.

“It just couldn’t have been a nicer experience from the very beginning,” Phil says, “from going up to see Dr. Yau for our first appointment, to the valet parking, to everybody in the hospital, just all the way down the line, it was really terrific.”

Rapid recovery

The Cozadds had done their homework, and knew they wanted a surgeon and a hospital that would accommodate a very specific type of procedure.

“Dr. Yau does the anterior hip replacement, and that was the only thing Phil and I were going to entertain,” Lyn explains.

“The anterior approach to hip replacement allows surgery to be performed in a space between muscles and tendons,” Yau explains. “Newer instruments allow placement of tried and true implants in a less traumatic fashion, resulting in an easier recovery, and a hip that feels more natural.”

Phil says the pain was minimal, and when you ask the Cozadds how Phil’s recovery went, Lyn speaks up first.

“What recovery?” she jokes. “He was on the golf course in three weeks.”

Phil interjects, “That was nine holes, and five weeks after surgery I played 18 holes.”

The Cozadds also give a lot of credit to Fort Loudoun Medical Center’s physical therapists. Because Fort Loudoun is a member of Covenant Health, it was easy to make the transition from the hospital in Knoxville to therapy that was closer to home.

 “We had a wonderful, wonderful experience with Fort Sanders Regional, and I couldn’t say enough about Dr. Yau,” Lyn says. Phil smiles in agreement, then says simply, “It’s nice to have a new part.”