The day after Dr. Steven Louis of Hinsdale Orthopaedics performed a bilateral (both right and left sides) Direct Anterior Approach hip replacement surgery on Hugh Crebs, 60, of Naperville, Crebs was walking around his hospital room virtually pain-free.  And, within twelve weeks, he expects to be back at his job as a school custodian in Bloomingdale.  This quick recovery is compared to the six to twelve months of recuperation Crebs was prepared for with two posterior approach (traditional) hip replacement surgeries recommended by another orthopaedic surgeon. 

“My life has completely changed since the surgery,”  Crebs explained.  “I’m going to the store now by myself and I drive with no pain.  What I’m really excited about is getting back to yard work in the spring.” 

Crebs rebounded so quickly because the Direct Anterior Approach allowed Dr. Louis to reach both hip joints from the front, as opposed to the side or posterior used in traditional hip replacement surgery.  This helped to replace the hip without detaching muscle from the pelvis or femur.  Consequently, the important gluteal muscles, which play a key role in hip function, were less affected than with traditional hip replacement surgery. 

Dr. Louis, who is one of the few in the Chicago area trained to perform this new surgical approach, has completed more than 100 successful Direct Anterior Approach procedures on Chicago area patients.  He now trains other physicians in this technique.

“Hugh was a perfect candidate for this new procedure because he was in good health and wanted to get back to his active lifestyle and job as quickly as possible,” Dr. Louis explains.  “This less-invasive approach is much easier on the patient because there is less tissue and muscle damage involved in the surgery.”

After years of excruciating hip pain that eventually left Crebs unable to perform his job or help his wife at home, he reached a point where he couldn’t take one more step.  He walked with a severe limp and couldn’t use stairs.  He spent longer hours at work due to resting and stretching his hips.  He was also taking a strong dose of anti-inflammatories and Vicodin.  While researching physicians online, he found Dr. Louis, whom he originally consulted with as a second opinion. Dr. Louis quickly diagnosed severe osteoarthritis and explained the less-invasive Direct Anterior Approach to hip replacement and Crebs knew instantly that this was the right surgeon and surgical technique to get back to health quickly.  He also enjoyed Dr. Louis’ casual manner, sense of humor and his willingness to perform two hip replacements at one time. 

On January 17, 2011, Crebs will head back to his 3 – 11 pm job at Bloomingdale District 13.  Friends have commented that he looks younger, now that the pain is gone from his face.  He and his wife Madeleine are looking forward to walking the sandy beach in Myrtle Beach, SC this spring and celebrating his new lease on life.

Free Informational Seminar

Dr. Steven Louis of Hinsdale Orthopaedics is  conducting a free, informational seminar on this technique.  The seminar will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, January 25, in the Red and Black Oak Rooms at Good Samaritan Hospital, 3815 Highland Avenue in Downers Grove.  To register, please call 1.800.323.8622 and use event code 4G78.   This event is free and open to the public.

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