Cyclist and Charity Organizer Completes 3,000-Mile Tour With New Hip From Dr. Michael Eilerman

A 72-year-old Oak Ridge resident, Jim Hansen, underwent a hip replacement procedure just so he could ride a bicycle 3,000 miles to raise funds for veterans. After the procedure, Jim then completed the race just 10 weeks later. 

Jim had organized the bicycle tour several years earlier. However, due to the severe pain and bone-on-bone sensation in his hip, he found that he would need a hip replacement before being able to ride in the tour. 

That’s when Jim sought out the best solution, researching the latest methods and the option that would help him most. He found that Dr. Michael Eilerman of University Orthopaedic Surgeons performs hip replacement using the anterior approach, an innovation in joint replacement using minimally invasive techniques that could shorten recovery time. 

Jim traveled from Oak Ridge to see Dr. Eilerman and have him perform the anterior hip replacement procedure for its muscle-sparing advantages so he could be ready for his race as quickly and safely as possible.

“I was able to get up the next day after the surgery and begin walking,” says Jim. “I was walking every day when I got home. I was able to walk up the stairs within a couple of days.” Though Jim pushed himself, his physical therapy team also ensured his safety to keep the new hip functioning properly. After four weeks, he was able to start cycling again to train.

“During the rehab period and during the cycling, I couldn’t tell that it wasn't my natural hip. I felt nothing different, and my hip felt no pain,” remarks Jim. His right hip had been completely replaced but, he says, “I couldn’t tell the difference between my left hip and my right hip.”

April 1, after recovery and a period training to ride again, Jim completed his race, raising $168,000 dollars with 14 other racers. The tour started in San Diego, California, and ended in St. Augustine, Florida. The tour included a ride of 70 miles a day, riding through terrains like mountains through California and Arizona as well as Texas hill country. 

Even standing on pedals and riding up hills, Jim experienced no pain and no problems with his new hip. His 3,000 miles and efforts through the tour amounted to helping countless veterans through specialized benefit programs for physical and mental health.

Jim credits his ability to complete the race to his surgeon, Dr. Eilerman, and University Orthopaedic Surgeons. “I went to Dr. Eilerman because he had so much experience with the anterior hip replacement, and I wish more places had this procedure,” says Jim.

To learn more about anterior hip replacement at University Orthopaedic Surgeons or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Eilerman, call (865) 546-2663 or request an appointment online.