September 23, 2021 by John Fernandez and Bethany Rundell
Total Hip Replacement Surgery Restores Patient’s Quality of Life
Jean-François (John) Desnoyers suffered with debilitating hip pain for more than 10 years before having the procedure that has enabled him to get back to doing the things he loves. Thanks to total hip arthroplasty performed by Alexander D. Gaukhman, M.D., with Baptist Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Mr. Desnoyers is now walking, jogging and cycling, playing golf and tennis and sleeping soundly – without pain.
“Over the years, I took breaks from activities and sought treatment from physical therapists, chiropractors, orthopedic specialists and stretching experts, but nothing I did alleviated the shock waves of pain,” Mr. Desnoyers recalled. “The discomfort was so bad that I was sleeping in a zero-gravity chair and had to find creative ways to tie my shoes.”
Mr. Desnoyers was diagnosed with advanced osteoarthritis caused by long-term wear-and-tear on his hip joint. To eliminate his pain and improve his function, Dr. Gaukhman performed a total hip replacement using an anterior approach. This advanced, minimally invasive method results in less muscle trauma, reduced pain, a shorter hospital stay, quicker recovery and improved long-term function, says Dr. Gaukhman.
(Watch now: Hear from Jean-François (John) Desnoyers, hip replacement surgery patient, and Alexander D. Gaukhman, M.D., with Baptist Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Video by Carol Higgins.)
“Total hip replacement surgery has been revolutionized over the past 20 years,” Dr. Gaukhman explained. “Years ago, a patient stayed in the hospital for a week after this procedure. Today, we implement a healthy patient model that enables patients to be discharged the same day as their procedure or the following day.”
Specific elements of the rapid rehab protocol include pre-operative patient education, preemptive analgesia, post-operative rehabilitation and advanced surgical techniques and instrumentation, explains Dr. Gaukhman. “The use of robots and computers enables me to precisely position the components inside the hip to optimize the patient’s recovery and movement,” he added.
After kickstarting his physical therapy in the hospital and learning how to safely navigate stairs and get in and out of a bed, chair and car, Mr. Desnoyers returned home the day after his procedure. Determined to have the best outcome possible, he immediately started walking and two weeks after his surgery started riding a stationary bike. “I used a walker for the first three days and then a cane for support for a few weeks. After four weeks, I was cleared to return to work and after six weeks, I was able to play golf and tennis,” recalled Mr. Desnoyers, who works as an engineer.
Mr. Desnoyers has plans to once again compete in mini triathlons like he did before the osteoarthritis made the training too painful. Dr. Gaukhman says Mr. Desnoyer’s prognosis is excellent and there is nothing holding him back. “It’s extremely gratifying to see the positive impact this procedure has on his quality of life,” said Dr. Gaukhman.
Both Mr. Desnoyers and Dr. Gaukhman advise people to see an orthopedic specialist when they are experiencing chronic pain, which can be debilitating, both mentally and physically. “Don’t wait. Get a proper diagnosis so you can start an individualized treatment plan that relieves your pain and improves your lifestyle,” advised Dr. Gaukhman. “There are innovative options – both non-surgical and surgical – to treat osteoarthritis.”