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Mike Raggett rides again

Mike Raggett

Mike Raggett

What Mike Raggett remembers most about that morning four years ago, when he crashed his bike and lay battered and broken along Highway 1, was how relieved he was that he had broken the fall of the $5,000 titanium cycle.

But breaking the fall broke his own hip, and a replacement was in order. Like other blips in his medical history, this one sidelined him only temporarily and he was quickly back to the active lifestyle he has always known.

Raggett was a track star at Carmel High School in the 1950s and continued running during four years at the U.S. Naval Academy. After graduation, he spent 30 years on active duty, mostly in nuclear attack submarines, including a four-year tour as commanding officer. During that time he also took up bicycle racing. Retirement wasn’t exactly retiring — he spent a dozen years teaching chemistry and algebra at Santa Catalina School, and he continues to coach track there.

Raggett retired from running, after 51 years, when he started having trouble with one of his hips. As an alternative, he returned to the bicycle. On that fateful morning of his accident, he was riding with friends from Carmel to Monterey, along a stretch of highway undergoing reconstruction.

About a half-mile from Community Hospital, Raggett’s front tire caught a rough patch of pavement, and he caught air. His rough landing snapped off the ball of his hip socket and he skidded along the street, generating road rash that looked like he had leaped from a moving car.

An ambulance arrived in minutes and ferried Raggett up the street to the Emergency department.

“Dr. Scott Kantor, my wife’s orthopedic surgeon and our neighbor, was the on-call surgeon,” Raggett says. “I crashed around 9:30 or 10 that morning, and by late afternoon I had a new hip. By September,
I was back on my bike.”

The quick comeback was fueled by a couple of things, Kantor says.

“Mike did well in his recovery because he was in very good physical shape to begin with; he has very good muscle tone and muscle strength,” Kantor says. “Also, he was a very motivated individual, who worked hard to get better, to get back to his very active lifestyle.”

Watch Mike's video testimonial.

Community Hospital replaces more joints than any other hospital in the region. A free information session for those preparing for joint-replacement surgery is offered twice a month. For more information, please call 625-4835.

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