A couple of years ago my wife was told she needed a hip replacement. To say it shocked her would be an understatement. After finally accepting it, she got on Google. And she did research. She found there were two types of hip replacement surgeries – a posterior approach and an anterior approach. She also found out the difference was like night and day in terms of recovery.
The anterior approach is by far the superior. But, since it is a fairly new approach and requires a very expensive table, most doctors who do hip replacement surgery use the posterior approach. Unfortunately, in the Atlanta area there were only two groups who do the anterior approach and neither of them take our insurance. So she had a dilemma. She could get the hip replaced but she was stuck with the posterior approach which required the cutting through a number of muscles in the hip area.
However, we’re talking my wife, Ms. “Never say never”. She got on the phone with our insurance carrier and started pitching the anterior approach, telling them how superior it was to the other approach and how it would save them money, etc. Finally, the insurance provider told her to widen her search to a 100 mile radius and she found a doctor in Gainsville, GA, about 40 minutes from where we live who does the anterior approach. After consultation with him, she made her decision and surgery was today.
I’m amazed. She went into surgery at 7:30am, was out at 9, in her room at 12, and here’s the amazing part, walking down the hallway of the patient floor at 1pm. She made an entire circuit. Not only that, they took her by the physical therapy room and she went up and down stairs. With her new hip.
Phenomenal. She leaves tomorrow to go home. Had she had the other approach she’d be facing 2 weeks in a rehab hospital and months of rehab afterward.
Well, maybe not her, but you get the picture. She’s a trooper, but her experience isn’t at all uncommon with this approach. Hip surgery was a huge and painful ordeal that took you out of circulation for a while. With the anterior approach, it doesn’t have to be anymore. I don’t know if you or a loved one may have that in their future but if so, insist on finding a doctor that uses the anterior approach.
It is well worth the search.