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  • Patient: Bob
  • Category: Trauma & Fracture

“ I was well repaired so I healed quickly”

Prolific gardener Bob Scopin, 66, was on a ladder to trim the Star Jasmine hedge on the side of his Huntington Beach home when he lost his balance and went down on his side. He hoped he hadn’t broken anything, stood up and returned to trimming and sweeping up leaves before going inside to eat. But after dinner, he found he couldn’t stand up because of the pain.

“I’d never broken anything larger than fingers and toes,” says the retired dentist. “Back in my 20s I used to skydive and took plenty of falls without breaking anything.”

That evening, Bob’s wife, Judy, drove him to the Hoag Newport Beach Emergency Department. An X-ray revealed a cracked femur, where the thighbone joins the pelvis to form the hip joint. He was sent by ambulance to HOI where he was admitted, made comfortable, and spent the night. The next day, Bob’s fracture was surgically repaired with three screws in his hip.

He recalls, “I had no idea that Hoag Orthopedic Institute had special expertise in fracture care. It was like being in a high-priced hotel. I slept a lot, and the nurses and staff came in regularly to check on me. I have nothing but good memories from my stay.”

Bob’s care was complicated by the fact that he has Type I diabetes, diabetic neuropathy and stage 3 kidney failure. Subsequent testing revealed that his balance issues were caused by a silent stroke – a transient ischemic attack (TIA) he never realized he’d had. He was hospitalized for three days before returning home.

Bob received home health physical therapy every other day for two weeks. Judy had to keep reminding him to sit down and take it easy. “I had leaves to pick up!” quips Bob.

Within a month, Bob was back to his normal routine – yard work, taking walks with Judy, and attending a water aerobics class for seniors. He wasn’t about to use a cane, but he did concede to wearing special “clunker” shoes to help with his balance issues.

“I tell the old geezers in the pool with me that if they fall, HOI is the place to go. I was well repaired so I healed quickly,” he says.

Bob knows only too well that hip fractures are associated with increased mortality rates. His grandmother passed away not long after her hip fracture. “That’s not going to happen to me. I still have things to do on my bucket list,” he says.

His list includes the Scopins’ upcoming cruise around South America. He plans on doing lots of sight seeing, possibly scuba diving, and hang gliding over the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.