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In a Traveling Patient’s Words

patient after successful surgery

An active life and career once again climbs to new heights! Philip J. Picott, HSS Patient, shares his experience receiving care from HSS, thanks in part to our Coast to Coast (C2C) Program.

As a successfully driven athlete and business professional, I have been physically active my entire life. Whether I am participating in a game of competitive level tennis as a formerly sponsored tennis player, trekking a 60-mile long bike ride along the Pacific Coast, or simply enjoying a Southern California all-day sports adventure with snow skiing in the morning, golf in the afternoon, and a jog along the beach during the evening, I don’t particularly enjoy just sitting around. One day while taking a short walk, I felt a sharp pain in my leg, which sidelined me for the very first time ever. This inexplicable leg pain made it virtually impossible for me to walk, bend, stand, sit, or even lie down in order to sleep.

My first physician diagnosed my leg pain as severe bone-on-bone arthritis, which involved my left hip. While I had once worked as a Surgical Marketing Executive for Johnson & Johnson, I still felt very apprehensive to undergo surgery, since I had always been healthy and never hospitalized. I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon in New England, who coincidentally completed his residency training at HSS.

On November 18, 2008, two years after first being diagnosed, I underwent a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) procedure. Several months after successful surgery, I continued to feel pain and stiffness. I was later diagnosed with a rare orthopedic complication known as Ectopic Bone Formation, or Heterotopic Ossification (HO), which is an unexplained bone growth abnormality that is present in less than 1% of all hip surgery patients worldwide.

Faced with the need for a second surgery to remove the excess bone growth from my post-operative hip, I was referred to Dr. Edwin Su at HSS and was introduced to HSS Coast to Coast (C2C) Program for Traveling Patients. On September 25, 2012, I underwent the very first successfully known surgical case of its kind that Dr. Su has performed as he safely removed 12 ounces of bone growth, while also sparing the use of my hip implant. Radiation treatment followed to ensure that this healthy bone growth would not return.

HSS Staff Photo 1-Year After Surgery 9-25-13I sincerely appreciate the professional help and expertise of Dr. Su and the entire medical team at Hospital for Special Surgery as my health is back to normal. I am now ready and able to resume my climb back on top, while enjoying physical activities at both work and play without pain or physical restriction.


The HSS Coast to Coast (C2C) Program team is skilled at handling the unique needs associated with being away from home. Whether you are traveling from across the country or are just a few hours away, the C2C Team serves as an important resource for you and your family. Their website includes many sources of information such as neighborhood guides, travel resources, NYC amenities, and patient FAQs. For more information, you can visit their website or call 212-606-1610.

The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.