Alternative hip replacement procedure cuts recovery time
Doctor explains hip replacement
DENVER — All the walking, jogging and just “living” puts a lot of wear and tear on our hip joints. They can eventually wear down and need to be replaced.
Health experts say the number of baby boomers who need hip replacement surgery will double over the next ten years.
The traditional method usually involves the surgeon making an incision in the backside, but now something called anterior hip replacement is allowing patients to heal much faster.
Orthopedic surgeon Robert Thomas of Littleton Adventist Hospital says going in through the front of the hip rather than the back makes a world of difference reducing recovery time to weeks instead of months.
Dr. Thomas says, “We don’t have to go through any muscle to get down to the hip. By not going through muscle we can recover patients much faster.”
Patient Lee Yeingst agrees adding, “I only spent a couple of nights in the hospital, and within two weeks of leaving the hospital I was on my own without a walker or a cane.”
Yeingst endured horrible pain before the surgery as his hip joint deteriorated.
“Standing for more than 10 minutes was pretty tough, also when I walked I looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame,” he says.
Now Yeingst is walking tall, even appearing on the cover of the hospital’s monthly magazine. He says he’s proud to have the opportunity to inform others about the option of anterior hip replacement, “You don’t get the feeling that people are pitying you, ‘oh look at that poor guy.’”
While this type of hip replacement is showing incredible results in thousands of patients, doctors are quick to point out that it’s not for everyone.
Dr. Thomas says, “there are patients which have an anatomy that (the surgery) doesn’t lend to.”
Your doctor can make the right decision about whether anterior hip replacement is for you. Health experts say the good thing is that the traditional surgery is still an excellent choice. For more information visit www.mylittletonhospital.org.