World Masters Swimmer Returns to Competition Following Hip Replacement Surgery at Local Hospital


Published on September 6 2012 4:01 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

During the recent Summer Olympics, many people were fascinated by the swimming competitions.  Many wish they could swim with such speed as these athletes.

Thomas Maine of Carbondale knows what it feels like to swim in such a competition.  The 87-year-old retired aerospace engineer is a competitive swimmer who has competed internationally in Sweden, Italy, New Zealand, and all over the United States.  He was named one of the 2010 World Masters Swimmers of the Year in the 85-89-year-old division.  He shared that his best style is the butterfly but he competes in all styles.


Maine wasn’t sure he was going to be able to keep swimming when his right hip began bothering him.  It didn’t keep him from his daily swimming regime at the local recreation center but his wife Shirley knew that he was having difficulty when he began to drive to the rec center for his workouts rather than walking there.

After the pain became too much, he knew he was going to have a hip replacement.  He explained, “I had an acquaintance who had their knee replaced at St. Anthony’s and had positive comments, so I decided to check it out. After visiting and meeting with Dr. Bonutti, it seemed like a great place and I decided to have it here.”

He had his hip replaced at St. Anthony’s in October 2011, and was pleased with the care he received.  He shared during his stay, “Everybody has been really nice here and friendly, and comes around frequently.  I have been to other hospitals where people can tend to be grouchy, but everyone has been nice here,” he said.  “Dr. Bonutti is extremely nice as well as being a good surgeon.”

Maine was a bit concerned with how the hip replacement would affect his competitive swimming.  He got back in the pool and started swimming as soon as he was able. He was able to resume competitive swimming in April 2012 and has done very well.

How did he do?  His wife shared, “He recently competed in a national meet in Omaha, Nebraska, in the same pool where the Olympic Trials were held.  He got four gold medals and one silver medal in individual styles, and placed third and fourth in a number of relay styles.”  It seems his hip replacement has not slowed Maine down one bit.

St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital was recently selected by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the "100 Hospitals With Great Orthopedic Programs," for the second year in a row.  Becker's Hospital Review is a leading publication offering business and legal trends and guidance for hospital executives.  Hospitals were included on this list based on exhibiting excellence in orthopedics, quality of service, outstanding local and national reputations and high volume of orthopedic cases.  Hospitals do not pay and cannot pay for inclusion on this list.  To view the list, visit the hospital’s web site at, and click on “Bone and Joint Services.”