Garry Collins is Living Life Pain-free After Hip Replacement

Garry Collins is back on the golf course, and for the first time in years, he has absolutely no hip pain

A smiling Gary Collins swings a golf club after a successful hip replacement at Scripps Health.

Garry Collins, 61, had total hip replacement surgery at Scripps in November 2015 after living with increasingly severe pain in his right hip for years. A retired policeman, Garry had spent more than three decades on patrol, as a SWAT officer and as a sergeant.


“All of that takes a toll on your body, and at the same time you’re trying to maintain a higher level of physical fitness because you need that in the job,” he says.

Taking action for his hip pain

Though his doctor told him the hip pain would only get worse, Garry decided to put off the surgery as long as he could. He began to walk with a limp, and his favorite activities became painfully challenging.


“There were so many activities that I had enjoyed that I just had to curtail completely or cut back on quite a bit,” he recalls. “Golf was becoming very uncomfortable, and it just wasn’t much fun anymore."


Hiking also became too painful, as Garry learned while attempting to climb Mt. Whitney with his son. “There are parts of the trail where you climb over rocks, and I found that I just couldn’t do it, because I couldn’t put the weight on my right leg anymore.”

A successful intervention through joint replacement

When the pain started to interfere with his sleep, Garry knew it was time to do something. Scripps orthopedic surgeon David Fabi, MD, replaced Garry’s hip at Scripps Mercy Hospital on Nov. 9, 2015. Just hours after surgery, Garry was amazed to be walking around the hospital floor.


“We performed Garry’s surgery through a minimally invasive approach and used intraoperative X-rays to make sure we matched his anatomy perfectly,” explains Dr. Fabi. “That was a big reason why he did so well. He came into my office a week after the operation with a huge smile from ear to ear."

Moving forward, pain-free

Garry says his life has changed tremendously now that he is living pain-free. He is looking forward to getting back to hiking and cycling, and says his sleep has also improved because he is able to lie in bed without pain. He has a renewed passion for golf and plans to play weekly with friends.


“Golf is so much more enjoyable when you can play it without the pain. It kind of revitalizes you,” he says. “I feel like I could probably play golf day after day, or multiple rounds in a day, and that’s something I never could have done before my hip replacement.”


Garry would urge anyone who needs hip replacement surgery to have it done at Scripps.


“The doctors are great, the facilities are great — and I’ve always had great results,” he says. “If I had it to do over again, I would — only I would have done it a long time ago!”