Charles, 74, of New Hartford, feels he still has the best years ahead of him, thanks to the hip replacement operation he underwent in 2003 at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.
Until then, intense pain had made it difficult for him to run, play tennis, or just help out with playground projects at his grandchildren's school.
"If I played tennis, I had a difficult time walking the next day," he recalls.
After suffering with pain for 12 years, Charles decided to consult with Robert McAllister, M.D., about total hip replacement surgery.
"He had such confidence, and that confidence rubbed off on me," says Charles, who received a ceramic hip implant. "It was great. It eliminated the pain completely."
Three months after surgery, Charles resumed one of his favorite pursuits: hiking Old Rag, in Virginia's Shenandoah valley. The five-mile trek up the mountain is challenging. There are zigzags in the trail, and boulders to crawl over before reaching the peak.
"It's really given me a new lease on life," Charles says. "If I hadn't had the surgery, I would have discontinued a lot of activities. I would have become sedentary, and permitted a damaged joint to alter my life, and that's no way to live."
Total knee, hip, and shoulder replacement surgery, as well as other surgical and non-surgical treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis of the joints.