Ingalls Orthopedics Nurse “Walks the Walk” about Anterior Hip Replacement

The energetic Vida Caliendo, R.N., acquired an insider's perspective on the advanced technique when she underwent her own surgery at Ingalls in 2013.

Now that she's fully recovered and back to work, Vida, 53, has become a "walking testimonial" for hip-replacement patients at Ingalls.

"When I go in and introduce myself to a hip patient, they're amazed when they find out I had my own hip replacement several months ago," she said. "I tell them, 'You can do this,' and they believe me because there I am, fully recovered and walking around just fine."

But she didn't always move so effortlessly. Vida wrestled with left-hip arthritis for several years, although the pain wasn't necessarily in her hip. "I would have pain standing, sitting and at rest, but not all the time. Sometimes I felt fine."

Eventually, the active wife and mother made an appointment to see orthopedic surgeon David Smith, M.D., who recommended non-surgical treatments, but as time went on, her discomfort worsened, and sometimes Vida limped through the day.

In 2013, Dr. Smith recommended anterior hip replacement.

The anterior approach minimizes the pain and time from surgery to recovery, and a wider range of patients may be candidates. The technique involves a single small incision on the front of the hip, allowing orthopedic surgeons to work between the muscles and tissues without detaching them.

"Keeping the muscles intact is the key to greater hip strength and faster recovery," Dr. Smith explains.

Within a couple days, anterior hip patients can bend their hip freely, bear weight, climb stairs and most importantly, go home, where they can resume normal activities in as little as eight weeks or less.

"I really didn't have any pain at all," Vida, who spent just two days in the hospital, said. "I took plain Tylenol for the first two weeks after I was discharged from the hospital.

Physically fit, Vida also credits her quick recovery to a regular exercise regimen of walking and Pilates before surgery. She's especially excited to resume dancing again now that she's pain-free.

Anterior hip replacement has given me the chance to move around freely again, without pain," she added.

Within a couple days, anterior hip patients can bend their hip freely, bear weight, climb stairs and most importantly, go home, where they can resume normal activities in as little as eight weeks or less.

For more information about the anterior hip replacement at Ingalls, call 708.915.PAIN (7246).

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