Cool Approach to Hip Surgery
Like a lot of people, Sharon Adams put off hip-replacement surgery for as long as possible. “My hip was hurting. It was bone on bone,” she said. “I was even using a walker here at home it was hurting so bad.”
What Sharon didn't expect was how quickly she'd feel better. “Immediately after I woke up, I asked if I could get up and walk,” she said. “I had to go slow, but I felt great. I never had the pain after that I had before.”
The 67-year-old Merna, Neb., resident was the first patient to undergo anterior hip-replacement surgery at CHI Health St. Francis. Orthopedic surgeon Greg Sextro, MD, the first surgeon in the area to offer the procedure, wasn’t surprised. “Patients who have this procedure typically have less pain and they can be up and moving immediately after surgery,” he said.
Traditional hip-replacement surgery requires cutting through muscles to access the hip, and that means restricting movement while the muscle heals. The anterior procedure requires a smaller incision at the front of the hip, and the surgeon inserts the new hip joint between muscles.
This approach, which requires additional training and special equipment made possible in part by the St. Francis Foundation, leaves hip muscles intact and allows patients to walk the same day of surgery. “That reduces their risk of complications such as blood clots or pneumonia and also leads to shorter hospital stays in most cases,” Dr. Sextro said.
Sharon felt well enough to go out for dinner after being discharged from the hospital, and now has a part-time job at a local convenience store. “I have no pain, no limitations. I feel like I have gotten so much of my life back,” she said. “I was silly to wait as long as I did.”