Katey O’Connell, Dr. Steven Louis and Sabina Chowaniec
The anterior approach from the front is less invasive and painful and allows a quicker recuperation than traditional hip replacement surgery done from the rear or side of the body. Dr. Louis’ extensive background in trauma surgery gives him an edge over other surgeons, because he is used to manipulating organs and tissue in a confined area. The direct anterior approach is minimally invasive and requires him to replace the hip without detaching muscle from the pelvis or femur. Illinois Consequently, the important gluteal muscles, which play a key role in hip function, are less affected than with traditional hip replacement surgery.
With less tissue and muscle damage, patients return to normal activities sooner and are pain-free more quickly.
Jim Graff, 63, of Lake-in-the-Hills, recently underwent direct anterior approach hip replacement by Dr. Louis. After just six weeks post-surgery, he was back to practicing Tai Chi and Chi Kong — and back to work as a massage therapist. The best part is that within days he was completely pain-free and flexible after years of discomfort and limited motion from a frozen hip and uneven legs caused by an earlier hip replacement.
“I haven’t been this limber and comfortable since I was pre-pubescent,” Graff explains. “I’m back to exercising regularly and performing well at my job which sometimes requires standing for up to six hours at a time. This was not the case with my first traditional hip replacement.”
Graff’s quick recovery is in sharp contrast to the long recuperation and side effects he experienced when he had a traditional (posterior approach) hip replacement on his left hip by another physician in 2001. That surgery also left one leg shorter than the other which made him walk with a limp. Dr. Louis also lengthened his leg.
“There are many patients like Jim who are perfect candidates for this new procedure because they are in relatively good health and want to get back to an active lifestyle and job as quickly as possible,” Dr. Louis explains. “This less-invasive Direct Anterior Approach is much easier on the patient because there is less tissue and muscle involved in the surgery.”