Anterior Hip Surgery Helps Busy Olympia Fields Woman Stay Independent

When doctors told Ilene Waite of Olympia Fields she needed a hip replacement in 2008, she fought it every step of the way. The thought of another trip to the operating room – following right on the heels of a recent back surgery – was out of the question.

Unfortunately, Ilene couldn’t ignore the pain in her arthritic left hip. When even her chiropractor told her hip replacement surgery was the only option left, Ilene went to see Daniel Weber, M.D., board-certified orthopedic surgeon on staff at the Advanced Orthopedic Institute at Ingalls. To her relief, Dr. Weber told her she was a candidate for a different kind of hip replacement called the anterior hip, which offers a quicker recovery.

“It was important to me to be able to be as independent as possible after surgery,” she explained.

How Anterior Hip Replacement Works

The anterior approach to hip replacement allows surgeons to reach the hip joint from the front, instead of the side or back. This enables surgeons to work between the muscles and tissues without detaching them from either the pelvic or thigh bones. Keeping these muscles intact helps prevent dislocation of the hip, a major benefit to patients.

“By and large, most individuals with hip arthritis would be candidates for anterior hip replacement,” Dr. Weber said. “One of the biggest advantages is that patients are able to be up and around much more quickly.”

The anterior approach at Ingalls is made possible with the use of a high-tech operating table that places the leg and pelvis in a stable position. The specially engineered table includes leg supports that allow the surgeon to adjust the operative leg during surgery with a great degree of control and precision, helping to achieve excellent alignment and positioning of the implant. X-rays taken during surgery ensure correct positioning, sizing and fit of the artificial hip components, as well as correct leg length.

Other benefits include less muscle trauma, less post-operative pain and a more rapid return to normal activities.

“Conventional hip replacement surgery requires limited hip motion for six to eight weeks,” Dr. Weber added, complicating normal activities like sitting in a chair or on a toilet seat, putting on shoes, climbing the stairs or getting in a car.

After the anterior procedure, however, patients can immediately bend at the hip and bear full weight when comfortable. In supervised physical therapy, patients go up and down stairs before their hospital release.

“I had no movement restrictions at all,” Ilene added. “A friend who had conventional hip replacement surgery couldn’t cross her legs for six months! I was up and walking around in just a couple days.

“I would definitely recommend the anterior hip,” she added. “And I can’t say enough good things about the physical therapists at Ingalls Family Care Center in Flossmoor.”

“You don’t have to travel to a downtown medical center when you’ve got the Advanced Orthopedic Institute at Ingalls in your own backyard,” added Ilene’s husband Bob. The Waites look forward to many days on the golf course this summer, especially Ilene.

“You have to work at it,” she added. “But I was determined!”

Visit the Advanced Orthopedics Institute at www.Ingalls.org/AOI to learn more about this and other innovative procedures.

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