Roping Recovery with Russell Cardoza

Russell Cardoza had both hips replaced to bring him back better than ever for 2021.


I underwent surgery for avascular necrosis, a condition that caused the deterioration of both of my hip joints. I had the first one done in November of 2018, and six months later I needed the next one done.

After Surgery

My physical therapy was just walking as much as I could. The first couple weeks, even in the middle of the night I’d get up and walk around the house a couple times. I’d sit in the recliner and every couple hours I’d walk around. Then I started doing exercises on my own. It didn’t take very long to get back to being normal.

Back in the Saddle

I was riding a horse three weeks after both surgeries. The first week or so, I made sure and rode a gentle one. I walked, trotted and loped. After a week, I was roping slower cattle. The more I moved, the better it felt. I tried to do just a little more each day to get stronger. I made sure it felt good enough to step in the stirrup, and I got on.


Now, I’m getting ready for the Cinch Timed Event Championships. I want to be stronger and better. I want to go back there and have two new hips and show them I can win it even after that. Justin Sports Medicine Doctors told me I wouldn’t rope a calf again after the first surgery, but now they’re better than ever before. I guess they will call it the Ironman for a reason this year. 

What did you think of this article?

Thank you for your feedback!