A retired teacher finds new lease on life. Paul, a Naperville North High School teacher and coach of both football and baseball, Paul Ryan was used to being on his feet constantly for long days without much rest. During the last 10 years of his career, he experienced a gradual increase in hip pain that made long days at work extremely difficult to get through. To relieve his pain, Paul would take painkillers every day. This only allowed him to mask the pain that really needed attention from a physician. As time went on and the daily pain worsened, Paul developed a pronounced limp to compensate for the pain he felt when walking. People began to ask about his limp, and he finally decided it was time to find a solution.
Paul began by asking his daughter, a physical therapist, to consult her colleagues and come up with a list of recommended physicians that could help him. First on that list was Dr. Steven Louis, board-certified orthopaedic surgeon at Hinsdale Orthopaedics. Dr. Louis is known for using the direct anterior approach for hip arthritis patients, allowing them to get back to their daily lives soon after surgery. Interested in a quick recovery, Paul quickly contacted Hinsdale Orthopaedics and set up a consultation with Dr. Louis. After performing an x-ray and evaluating the injury, Dr. Louis strongly suggested that Paul consider having direct anterior hip replacement surgery, a new approach to hip surgery that is less invasive than traditional surgery; it involves less cutting of muscles and ligaments, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recuperation. With full trust in Dr. Louis, he agreed to have the surgery.
The surgery took place on January 4, 2012 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove. Paul was surprised when, shortly after waking from surgery, he was instructed to slowly stand up from his hospital bed. He wearily obeyed, and was amazed by the stability of his new hip. He remained in the hospital for two days, participating in daily therapy. Dr. Louis checked on his progress several times, always encouraging him not to let his mind restrict him from getting the most from his new hip.
Paul received physical therapy from home for the following two weeks until his checkup with Dr. Louis. By that time, he had made excellent progress and started using a cane in place of crutches. Throughout the next few months, walking became easier. Today, he has nothing more than occasional discomfort in his hip, and his hip mobility is the best it has been in more than a decade. Paul’s only regret is that he didn’t find Dr. Louis sooner so he could have lived an even fuller life with less pain.