Photo by Ed Aldridge via St. Luke’s Medical Center
Arizona cyclist wins gold after hip replacement
Karl Baumgart, a 44-year-old Scottsdale resident and cycling competitor, won a national championship, four silver medals, and the overall “Best All Around Rider” award at the 2015 USA Masters Track National Championship.
Just six weeks later, Karl continued on winning two silver medals at the 2015 Masters World Track Championships. These accolades were earned just 12 months after his total hip replacement for a chronic overuse injury.
For a newcomer who has only had his USA Cycling (USAC) racing license since May 2013, this is surprising, but for someone who has had a major hip replacement, this is almost unheard of.
In his short cycling career, Karl has logged more than 100 races, including big stage races such as Valley of the Sun, Arizona State Time Trial Championships and USA Masters National Time Trial Championships. In 2016, he once again won a national championship and repeated as the “Best All Around Rider” at the 2016 USA Masters National Track Championship. Continuing to test his ability to the next level, Karl shocked the cycling community with a silver medal in the 1 Kilometer time trial (kilo) at the 2016 USA Elite National Track Championships.
The average recovery time for a total hip replacement is typically four to six weeks, but Baumgart’s inner-drive and passion for cycling couldn’t wait that long. He turned to Brandon Gough, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon at Phoenix’s Hedley Orthopaedic Institute and St. Luke’s Medical Center with extensive experience in hip and knee replacement for help. Dr. Gough performed an innovative medical procedure using micro-invasive surgical approaches as well as robotic surgery.
With this approach, Dr. Gough makes a small incision in the hip, which allows for adequate visualization and the proper placement of surgical components. In other words, the smaller surgical incision offers less muscle and tendon damage, less blood loss, and lower complication and dislocation rates. Additionally, this procedure requires low or no narcotics at all, and patients are often walking within four hours of surgery. In Baumgart’s case, he was cycling competitively again within six weeks.
“The day after winning the Arizona State Team Time Trial Championship, Karl was in my operating room for a hip replacement,” said Dr. Gough. “At Hedley Orthopaedic Institute, we pride ourselves in being one of the few practices in Arizona that offers the direct superior surgical hip approach. The leg remains in a more natural position during the surgery, which means the hip’s natural alignment is intact, and there is less pain. These are all things that are important to a patient, especially a cyclist.”
Currently, Baumgart is in preparing for the 2016 Masters World Track Championships in Manchester, UK, which is being held October 1-8; with the ultimate goal of winning a World Championship title.