Craig Vetter Medical Update - November 2013


Craig Vetter

Vetter Founder
Oct 11, 2013
Carmel, CA
Hip Replacement of Sep 18, 2013

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37 years ago, I crashed my RD 350 at Road Atlanta, destroying, both my bike and left hip. They put me together as good as they could in those days. I limped along in life, hoping I might never have to do anything about it.

Things began deteriorating rapidly in 2013. Crackling sounds came from my left socket. I began using a cane. Pain was 10 out of 10 when I stood and walked. I could not ignore this anymore. But to fix it, old metal would have to come out before new metal could go in. This would be complicated. Doctor John, my physician, here in Carmel, found a brilliant surgeon at Stanford, Dr. Huddleston, who said he could do it. Wednesday, Sep 18, he did just that. It took him six hours.


Before: 13 screws, metal bar and bad joint. After: Hot Rod replacement hip

You can see from the above images just how complicated this operation was. All that old junk had to come out before the hip could be accessed and repaired. Dr. Huddleston of Stanford said there wasn't much that was "standard" about my hip reconstruction. In spite of that, there have been no problems.

I returned home after the standard 3 night stay. For the first time in years, there was and is no pain. There would be no weight bearing for at least 6 weeks. I could do that.

Day 15: Oct 2, 2013

I was been fitted with a strap-on ekto-skeleton support that limited the angle my leg could move. I am very fragile inside. By now, I could get up, onto crutches and back onto bed by myself, safely.

My biggest activity is hobbling outside to the sun, chatting and sitting with visiting friends. This morning, visiting the nurse removed 51 staples and I did not come apart.


Church Sunday morning. Carol, the bride of my youth, is my biggest blessing. I could not do this without her.

Day 42: Oct 29, 2013
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Stanford Hospital. Look at this place! What a great hospital! Six weeks have passed since the operation. I have still not put any weight on my left leg. There has been no pain.

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“There was nothing standard about this operation” Dr. Huddleston said today’s X-Rays looked good. He then explained in detail what he had done. Then he had me stand up to see if he made my leg the correct length. “Go ahead… put weight on it… stand up even… it won’t break”. After six weeks of babying this thing, this was a scary moment, indeed. Of course, he was right. It did not break. He thought my legs looked even. I would not need my ekto-skeleton support anymore.

I still could not put much weight on it. Six more weeks on crutches. I could do that.

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I told Dr. Huddleston that I wanted to be his best patient ever. (It must be my competitive nature). I can put my shoes and socks on. I can tie my shoes. I can take a shower. I can drive a car. (Not my bike)
Ah… the really good news… I am writing my book.

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Stanford… what a great hospital! James Huddleston… what a great doctor.

What a great God we have. Thank you for your prayers.

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Oct 9, 2013
That's amazing. It looks like you'll get lots more years out of that fancy new hip you've got there. It's a good thing doctors have all these spare parts laying around these days. Maybe when I'm 70 they'll be able to rebuild me good as new, like an old motorcycle. Haha.
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