Ride Across America

Willie Winters, 69, achieved his ultimate goal of cycling across America, 15 years following his minimally invasive right hip replacement with Dr. Berger.


In 2004, Winters began experiencing right hip pain which affected not only his golf game, but everyday life. Once he was told the best solution was to have the hip replaced, he searched to find the right surgeon.


“I had to quit golfing because I was in too much pain at that point,” says Winters, “My goal before surgery was to get rid of the pain. I couldn’t exercise which resulted in gaining some weight. I wanted to lose weight and get back in shape.”


Dr. Berger had pioneered a minimally invasive approach to hip replacement surgery just three years earlier, allowing patients to recover faster and more effectively. When Winters had his first meeting with Dr. Berger, he knew it was a good fit.


Winters underwent a total right total hip replacement in 2006 and was pleasantly surprised with his short-term and long-term results.


“I went back to work in the office after two weeks. I probably pushed myself harder than I should have, but as the summer progressed, I was feeling stronger and stronger. I started biking regularly by the fall and the following spring I was in great shape,” explains Winters.


Winters decided to retire his golf clubs and focus on cycling. He rode his bike periodically before his hip replacement, but it wasn’t until he recovered from the surgery when he found himself hooked on long-distance riding.



Fast-forward 12 years: Winters cycled 1,100 miles around Lake Michigan. A self-supported ride over the course of 13 days, along with several rides across the state of Iowa.


Then came his ride across America, his greatest physical achievement and remarkable life experience. Winters cycled 5-8 hours a day up to nine days at a time.


“I’m as strong as I’ve ever been,” says Winters, “I would advise patients in recovery to start out slow but give it a shot. Why not try to get back to where you were or increase your physical activities? The opportunity for injury is always there, even with a stationary bike but there’s a certain amount of risk in anything you do. I think cycling is one of those activities where the more you do it the safer you are.”