The day after orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steven Louis performed Direct Anterior Approach hip replacement surgery on Gillian Zarek, 70, of Romeoville, she was walking up and down stairs. Within just weeks, she was getting her perennial garden ready for the new season and standing for entire services while singing in her church choir.

“The pain was horrible before my hip surgery and I couldn’t do most of the things I enjoy, including just visiting people,” she explains. “Now, I’m gardening, standing while I sing and participating in all of my Red Hat Society club events.”

Gillian rebounded so quickly because the Direct Anterior Approach allows the surgeon to reach the hip joint from the front of the hip, as opposed to the side or posterior in traditional hip replacement surgery. This allows the hip to be replaced without detaching muscle from the pelvis or femur. Consequently, the important gluteal muscles, which play a key role in hip function, are less affected than with traditional hip replacement surgery. Dr. Louis has performed over 250 successful Direct Anterior Approach procedures on Chicago and Northwest Indiana area patients.

“Gillian was a perfect candidate for this new procedure because she wanted to get back to her active lifestyle 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.”

Gillian, who suffers from osteoarthritis, was no stranger to joint surgery. She counts nine in total, including two knee replacements, two thumb replacements and a shoulder replacement. “My hip replacement was definitely the easiest surgery and recovery I’ve had,” she says.

When her hip pain became unbearable early this year, she returned to Dr. Louis who repaired her husband’s shattered leg when he fell at home in 2000. She enjoyed his casual manner, confidence, sense of humor and felt comfortable asking him questions. When she described her pain and other symptoms, they discussed the Direct Anterior Approach to hip replacement procedure.

Gillian continues to feel great and enjoys the same, active lifestyle she enjoyed before her hip pain began. No longer the “Queen” of her Red Hat Society, she is enjoying the activities planned by other members of the club.

Free Informational Seminar

Dr. Steven Louis of Hinsdale Orthopaedics is hosting a free seminar for patients to learn more about the Direct Anterior Approach to hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, October 25, 7 pm in the Taylor Room, Bolingbrook Golf Club, 2001 Rodeo Drive in Bolingbrook. To register, please call 1.630.986.8749. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information on Dr. Steven Louis and to download a free brochure on the Direct Anterior Approach to hip replacement, visit

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