- December 2012
Golfer Troy Kelly - Getting His Game Back
Hip Replacement Surgery is SuccessfulBy: Maggie Downs
It wasn’t just about his golf game. For Troy Kelly, it was a quality of life issue.
As a professional on the PGA tour, Kelly was used to pushing his body to the limit. So as the pain advanced, the golfer thought perhaps he had pulled a muscle or done something to tweak his hip.
Then, in 2010, after playing only 10 tournaments on the Nationwide Tour, the pain became so unbearable that Kelly limped away from the links. That’s when the 34-year-old La Quinta resident turned to Adrian Graff-Radford, MD a founding partner of Eisenhower Desert Orthopedic Center.
First, the surgeon and the golfer tried an array of non-surgical techniques, like physical therapy, to combat the pain. This is a trademark of the Center which is committed to helping patients continue to lead active lives. The practice consists of fellowship-trained specialists in every orthopedic subspecialty — their focus is on the highest level of care to resume the highest possible quality of life.
“Obviously you don’t want to replace someone’s hip if you don’t have to, especially when that person is a young athlete,” Dr. Graff-Radford says. “But Troy got to a point where the pain was so severe he couldn’t even sleep at night, let alone play golf. We had no other choice.” The problem was that Kelly suffered from an arthritic hip, and a total hip replacement was necessary to get him back into prime playing condition.
“I had never been through anything like surgery before,” says Kelly. “Dr. Graff- Radford was really friendly and explained everything. My experience was great.”
“I’ve worked on a lot of professional athletes and a lot of professional golfers, so I know what’s at stake,” Dr. Graff-Radford says. “I wouldn’t say it’s more intense than surgery on a non-athlete, because you want everybody to have a successful surgery, and everyone is so different. You just have to get in there and do what you have to do.”
Three months post surgery, Kelly was back on the course, chipping and pitching. Since he no longer had pain in his left hip, he no longer compensated with arm swings and could finally get his lower body back into the game. Shortly thereafter, Kelly was shooting low in practice rounds. He took it slow and steady, regaining his strength with each passing day.
“My biggest hurdle was mental,” notes Kelly. “I had to trust that my body could do what I needed it to do. It’s now been two years since I had the surgery and I feel completely normal. I don’t feel like I even had surgery.”
Kelly’s first event back was the Phoenix Open, just seven months after surgery. Kelly ended up winning enough money on the former Nationwide Tour to secure a spot for the 2012 PGA Tour and in July, barely missed taking home his first PGA Tour win — he lost the Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia in a three-hole playoff. His second place standing earned him $658,800.
“It’s just extraordinary to watch him play,” says Dr. Graff-Radford.
“I want to take care of myself and stay fit and strong,” Kelly says. “I just want to play good golf.”
About Troy Kelly
Residence: La Quinta
Birthplace: Tacoma, WA
Turned Pro: 2003
Hip Replacement: 2010
Events Played in 2012: 20
2012 earnings: $777,112