About three years ago, Bob Zekanoski began experiencing pain in his hip that would not go away. A supervisor for Lee County Parks and Rec, Zekanoski led an active lifestyle both in and out of work, enjoying biking, swimming, and lifting weights.
Then something changed. He remembers, “I had a hard time putting on my socks. I didn’t have the same flexibility I was used to.”
But that wasn’t all. He adds, “I didn’t really enjoy walking anymore. It was painful. I hated to walk even 50 yards.”
Seeking medical help, his first course of treatment involved physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications. The medication helped for a time, but when the pain persisted Zekanoski says, “It was bad. I can tolerate a lot of pain. I’ve passed 27 kidney stones in my life, so when I say I’m in pain I’m not kidding.”
When it became clear that he was running out of options, Zekanoski began researching the inevitable, hip surgery. He had just been promoted to his supervisory roll and was concerned about being out of work for several months while he recovered from conventional surgery.
SuperPATH® Hip Replacement
That’s when he discovered SuperPATH® hip replacement. After doing more digging, he learned there was a physician in the area that was proficient in this unique surgical technique and had great success with it, Dr. Peter Ameglio.
Although SuperPATH® was originally introduced in 2003, not many doctors implement it. In fact, Dr. Ameglio is only 1 of 6 surgeons trained in the State of Florida and 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 with traditional approaches, the patient is instructed in hip precautions to prevent joint dislocation. The SuperPATH® approach doesn’t use these precautions because the joint is never dislocated. In addition, the capsule and muscles are not injured during surgery making for a quicker recovery.
Dr. Ameglio explains, “In this approach since you don’t have to dislocate the hip joint, it’s less traumatic.” The surgery is easier on the patient and the recovery time is shortened significantly.
“A co-worker of mine had a traditional hip replacement surgery and she was out for three months,” says Zekanoski. “She visited me in the hospital and could not believe what I was doing in physical therapy immediately following surgery. She said ‘I could not do any of this.’”
A speedy recovery was not only important to Zekanoski because of returning to work, but also because he did not have the help he would need for an extended period of rehabilitation and recovery at home.
After an overnight stay at the hospital, he went home. His son stayed with him for a few days to make sure he was OK, and then Zekanoski was able to complete the recovery on his own.
The parks and rec supervisor did his physical therapy religiously, only using his walker for nine days. Two weeks after his surgery he was able to ride his stationary bicycle again. He says, “My progression after having major surgery was just amazing.”
About the SuperPATH® approach to hip surgery, Dr. Ameglio says, “SuperPATH® approach reduces the risk of hip dislocation, decreases postoperative pain, and shortens the patient’s recovery time.”
Zekanoski says, “I give the entire experience five stars. This is not a gimmick–it WORKS. Dr. Ameglio is a great doctor and I hope he stays around for when I get older.”