For years, James Beasley, 70, relied on over-the-counter medications, pain patches and steroid injections to relieve constant hip pain.
“I tried everything, but nothing worked,” said Beasley. “I put off having hip surgery for many years because I was scared about losing my independence after surgery. I wish I had done it sooner.”
After undergoing minimally-invasive hip replacement surgery at Ascension Sacred Heart, Beasley walked without pain for the first time in nine years. His orthopedic surgeon Paul Mahle, MD, performed a direct anterior approach that allowed him to access the hip joint using a small four-inch incision on the front of the leg.
Mahle said anterior hip replacement eases patients’ pain and recovery time compared to other surgical approaches.
“During the 40-minute procedure, I make a small incision near the front of the hip that allows me to remove damaged bone and cartilage, and implant an artificial hip without damaging surrounding muscle and tendons,” explained Mahle, who received specialized training in complex primary total joint replacement of the hip and knee during a one-year fellowship at Ascension Sacred Heart Orthopedics in Pensacola.
The direct anterior method is considered “muscle sparing” because it doesn’t involve cutting into (and later repairing) muscles and tendons. Instead, the surgeon gently pushes the groups of muscle and ligaments aside, inserts the implants, and then moves them back to their previous position.
When Beasley awoke from surgery, he took his first steps with a walker. With twice-weekly physical therapy sessions, he quickly transitioned from a walker to a cane to walking independently.
“At first, I didn’t want to have surgery,” he said. “I was nervous that I would have to depend on others, but I’m pleased with how smoothly the operation and recovery went.”
Beasley said he tells others suffering from hip pain to consider replacement surgery. “Once I got my hip replaced, I’m pain-free now. I’m moving around like I was 20 years younger.”
For more information, visit ascension.org/sacredheartortho.