Superior Approach to Hip Surgery Offers Faster Recovery
When Dr. James Worden, an anesthesiologist and pain management doctor, was having trouble managing his own pain, he knew it was time to seek help. The Naples doctor was suffering from arthritis in his left hip.
It progressed over the course of a couple of years to the point where he couldn’t stand too long or walk too far without hurting. Like many people with hip pain, Dr. Worden looked for alternative treatments such as injections before pursuing surgery.
He also used anti-inflammatory medications saying, “I reached the point where I was taking them every day. They started bothering my stomach and raising my blood pressure and I was still in pain. I was having trouble putting on my shoes and socks, so I knew it was time to get my hip replaced.”
Well connected to medical professionals all over Southwest Florida, Dr. Worden began investigating doctors and various hip replacement procedures. After much research, he remembers, “I went to Dr. Gardner (owner of Gardner Orthopedics), an old friend, and asked if he would recommend I do the surgery in the posterior or anterior approach. He explained that there was actually a third way of doing hip surgeries and introduced me to Dr. Ameglio.”
Dr. Peter Ameglio performs the SuperPATH® approach at Gardner Orthopedics. This procedure isn’t new. It was originally introduced in 2003 and Dr. Ameglio is the only surgeon in Southwest Florida performing SuperPATH. Its key lies in not dislocating the hip joint during surgery.
In traditional hip replacements, a dislocation of the hip is required. This results in injury to the joint capsule and small muscle attachments of the hip. Following the surgery done with traditional approaches, the patient is instructed in hip precautions or positions they should not place the hip to prevent joint dislocation. The SuperPATH approach does not carry these restrictions as the joint is never dislocated. The capsule and muscles are not injured during surgery making for a quicker recovery.
Dr. Ameglio explains, “In this approach, you don’t have to dislocate the hip joint and therefore it’s less traumatic.” The surgery is easier on the patient, the recovery time is shortened.
When choosing to go the SuperPATH route, Dr. Worden says, “ I was concerned about all of the possible complications with the other methods; dislocations, nerve damage, infection. You don’t have as much cutting or have to dislocate the hip during SuperPATH, so the hip is in there nice and tight.”
In addition, he says, “There are no restrictions post op. I can bend over and I can cross my legs without any risk of injury. That was important to me, along with getting back to work. I have a full-time practice and didn’t want to be out any longer than necessary.”
Dr. Worden spent one night in the hospital and in two weeks had a follow up with Dr. Ameglio saying, “I was very pleased with his expertise. He put a two-week bandage on the incision that was waterproof and had silver to combat bacteria. When he took it off, the wound looked clean as a whistle. It was a nice bonus.”
Dr. Worden’s recovery was quick. He needed very little pain medication. The doctor had his golf clubs on the driving range four weeks later; in six weeks he was playing 18 holes. He was back to work in 4 weeks.
Worth the Effort
About the SuperPATH approach, Dr. Ameglio says, “We are excited to offer this procedure at Gardner Orthopedics. It just makes sense as far as injuries to the soft tissue. By moving the incision a little farther up and not dislocating the hip joint, it makes all the difference in recovery, and patients say the hip feels more natural.”
Dr. Worden thought having the surgery in Fort Myers, rather than Naples, was easy and well worth the effort. He says, “I could not be happier with Dr. Ameglio. He is a well-trained surgeon, a good technician, and a thoughtful doctor who listens. I would recommend anyone in need of hip surgery to get a second opinion, but I think the SuperPATH is an awfully nice way to do it.”