Early in 2011 I realized that the pain in my left hip was not going to go away if I didn’t get some professional help. I had been trying to cope with a hip that was progressively causing more problems for about 2 years, and nothing I tried on my own seemed to help. I finally told my primary care doctor about the pain and he suggested that I see Dr Justin LaReau with Hinsdale Orthopedics to see what was wrong. An exam and a couple of xrays showed that I had lost the cushion in the hip joint. I would need to have a hip replacement to correct the problem. Dr LaReau explained that he used a new procedure called the anterior approach to the surgery which was a less invasive procedure. The incision would be made in the upper front of the hip with less tissue being cut. This would allow for a more speedy and easier recovery, as less tissue would need to heal. It also allowed the hip tissue to support the implant better allowing for fewer dislocations of the implant. During our conversation I remember thinking that’s fine for you to say, but I’m the one who will be having the surgery and will be out of commission during rehab. However I knew that I had to do something to correct the problem and agreed to have the surgery. During the pre surgery testing phase Dr LaReau’s staff were extremely effective in helping me build a positive mental attitude for the surgery. I even found myself watching several short movie clips about the surgery on the internet.
The surgery was performed in the morning of March 25, 2011. The procedure took about 3 hours. Shortly after getting in my room the nurses had me take a few steps with a walker. I was extremely surprised when I put my full weight on the leg how little pain I had even with an incision. I thought to myself I think I can really do this. The following day I continued to be pleasantly surprised by how good I felt. I was asked to go for a few more supervised walks with the walker, each time extending the distance. About noon I was able to negotiate a flight of about 8 steps up and down using the railing for support. By 2pm, about 29 hours after surgery, I was released to go home. For my home rehab Dr, LaReau told me to use the daily exercises in the hospital manual and WALK…if I felt I wanted more therapy, walk some more. When we got home my son-in-law needed to pick up some things so I went to the store with him..no walker. The next day I went to church without the walker, and Monday I took a long walk with the walker, 12 times down and back on our 200′ driveway. My daily routine was 50-75 marching steps / abductions / squats, and most days two 3/8 mile walks. By the middle of June I was trout fishing with my grandson at a lake in Colorado.
A year later I had to go for consultation with Dr LaReau for an all too familiar pain in my right hip. I had lost the cushion in that hip as well. I had surgery in the right hip on April 6, 2012. The results of this surgery were pretty much identical to those of the first. However, this time Dr LaReau assigned home therapy…think to save me from myself. However, my routine at home was pretty much the same as the first surgery. When I saw how much therapy I was given in therapy I completed the extra reps later.
It’s been almost 2 years since the first surgery, and almost a year since the second. I have had no problems, or complications with the implants. Since I can take the grandkids to do the things we like to do without any pain, I couldn’t be more pleased with my experiences.
If you are you are trying to determine whether to have an anterior hip replacement, or select a surgeon to perform the procedure, and are considering Dr. Justin LaReau, I would highly recommend him and his staff. They were able to provide me with the surgical talent, as well as emotional support to make my surgeries as easy to handle as possible. Second, I hope this can provide as much peace of mind as possible to those anticipating having to undergo this procedure. It is surgery, yes, but with a good surgeon, and positive mental attitude it can be a rewarding experience.