Arizona Tech Council Featured Hip Patient Johnny Bench

News Archive (2010)

Arizona Tech Council Featured Hip Patient Johnny Bench.

Arizona Tech Council Featured Hip Patient Johnny Bench
March 31, 2010
Ruth Ann Monti

Very few people have lasted 15 years in major league baseball without some kind of long-term wear and tear. Even fewer squatted in the catcher's box for that time. It's just too hard on the joints for most.

Johnny Bench, who caught for the Cincinnati Reds for 15 years (1968-1983) and was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989, endured pain for several years after retirement until he received a new right hip. He spoke about his experience last week in a keynote address to the Arizona Technology Council first-ever Expo.

Six years ago, a doctor friend watched Bench hobble around a golf course. "You know that hip is going," Bench recalled his friend telling him. A few weeks later, Bench had hip-replacement surgery and was back golfing within seven weeks.

When Bench began experiencing similar pain in his other hip last year, he readily sought  a second surgery. This time, however, the new hip was made of state-of-the-art ceramic-on-ceramic design, with a larger head from Stryker.

Just two hours after receiving an ADM(TM) X3 hip, Bench was walking the hospital hallway. He was one of the first patients to receive the technology, which is more flexible and longer-lasting than earlier hip models, and has fewer post-operative complications.

Bench is now a spokesperson for Stryker, which joined more than 60 other exhibitors at the Health & Medical Technology Expo in Glendale last week. The Council is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to connecting, representing, and supporting Arizona's technology industry, where medical technology is a key player.

The Council sponsors more than 100 events each year. The Expo targeted providers, tech companies with innovative medical products, suppliers, and other health-related business. Major sponsors included leaders in the legal and communications fields, who support the Council's policy and advocacy efforts as well as various committees that address technology, safety, and other issues.

And Bench's knees? They're just fine, he recently told ESPN. "The legs are the support," he said. "You've gotta have the strongest quads." While other Hall of Fame catchers like Gary Carter and Carlton Fisk have had multiple knee surgeries, Bench was spared their pain.