Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

July 22, 2013

COMMENTARY: ‘Chimpie’ and his broken hip

JACKSONVILLE — “The foot bone's connected to the ankle bone … the ankle bone's connected to the leg bone …”

Thanks to my damaged left hip and the problems it sometimes causes when I try to walk on my left leg, I am occasionally called “Gimpie,” “Limpy,” or sometimes even “Chimpie”  by my co-workers, a few members of my family, and some others.

I gained about half an inch of extra leg during recent surgery that was required to fix my broken left hip.

The surgery was made necessary by a severe break that took place May 31 during my son Jake's graduation from Jacksonville High School at the historic Tomato Bowl Stadium.

The break happened quite quickly. I tripped, then fell face first into the pavement in agony.

Later x-rays tests would reveal that in addition to a broken left hip I also had two non-cancerous tumors in that area.

My surgeon, Dr. Gerhard E. Maale III of Plano, removed the tumors, then implanted a huge artificial metal hip on my left side.

After a period of recovery, I was ferried from a Plano hospital to the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation at Frisco to do rehab.

Many, many, many, many, many weeks of recovery followed. After returning to town and to the Jacksonville Daily Progress to work, I started physical training locally.

During this local PT, my physical therapist informed me my left leg is now at least half an inch longer than my right leg.

In one regard, this was good news. At least I now knew why my limp had become so pronounced following my surgery.  

But neither I nor my physical therapist were entirely sure what caused the extra length. Was it metal hip? Or maybe, something else?

I still can't do much with my left leg right now other than barely lift it to get my shoe on. Nor can I cross my left leg across my right leg.

On the advice of my physical trainer I looked through foot care products, found a couple of inserts and plugged them into my right shoe.

So, problem seemingly solved – for the time being.

But, meanwhile, there are other side effects, too: For one, the hair on my leg is taking its sweet time growing back. And it itches a lot. And aches and aches and aches.

Also, if I forget to put the padding in my right shoe, my pronounced limp comes back.

In a word: “AARGH!”

Ben Tinsley is a Jacksonville Daily Progress reporter with over 25 years in the journalism industry, He can be contacted by email, btinsley@jacksonvilleprogress.com, or by phone at 903-586-2236. Tinsley can also be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/bentinsley or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ben.tinsley.12.

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