Hip replacement surgery can be a scary thing. At the University of Tennessee Medical Center, it's no big deal because of a revolutionary type of surgery. It's called Anterior Approach Hip Replacement surgery, and you can be up and walking the very next day.
It wasn't long ago that Ron Brinkerhof couldn't walk without pain.
Ron Brinkerhoff says, "After doing chores my leg would just hurt."
He visited the doctor who told him he needed a new hip.
Brinkerhoff says, "I was nervous because I'd never had surgery and didn't know what to expect."
He opted for the anterior surgery where doctors go in from the front.
Dr. Michael Eilerman says, "We're able to insert the hip from the front where we don't violate any muscles or tendons."
Traditional surgery is done in the back where they cut your butt muscles and you're in for 6 week rehabilitation. Brinkerhoff says, "I was up and walking the very next day."
He was home the day after he was on a walker for a week, then for 3 days he was on the cane. The anterior procedure has been around for 15 years, but is just now catching on in East Tennessee. Dr. Michael Eilerman has done more than 800 anterior surgeries. Dr. Eilerman says, "Hip replacement usually equals a happy patient regardless, but the anterior offers advantages over traditional methods."
Brinkerhoff says, "The whole experience was great. I have to have my right hip replaced in a year and know what to expect and won't have any anxiety."
That's why Ron is dancing for joy.
Doctor Eilerman tells me there is less risk with dislocation with the anterior procedure, too. The only risk with the front surgery is a nerve that could get cut and cause numbness. Dr. Eilerman says it hasn't been a big problem. The procedure is paid for by insurance.