Pam Kuss, a nurse with the Mercy Health – Springfield endoscopy team, lived in pain for two years.
“My lifestyle was limited,” says Pam. “I used to walk a lot and I couldn’t do that anymore. I still worked full-time, but I was taking lots of anti-inflammatories to get through the day.”
Gregory Carozza, DO, a Mercy Health physician and orthopedic surgeon (pictured left), ended up diagnosing Pam and suggesting a treatment option for her.
“I had a gluteus medius tear and a labral tear as well as chronic bursitis. I hoped I was a candidate for arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure. However, because I’m 59, I needed a hip replacement,” says Pam.
Pam was the first patient at Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital on May 21 and went home post-surgery around 2 p.m. the same day.
“I did my first physical therapy at the hospital. I was up walking slowly with a walker. I had a block and the pain was minimal until it wore off,” Pam says.
In the not too distant past, a total hip replacement was considered major surgery, with patients spending two or three days in the hospital recovering before they went home. Today, however, outpatient hip replacement is possible. Advancements have led to quicker surgeries which then cuts down on the need for IV narcotics.
“Less time equals less pain,” says Dr. Carozza, adding that nerve blocks keep people comfortable for a longer amount of time so they can begin to recover at home.
“After surgery, patients find their pain is manageable. They wonder why they should stay in the hospital when they will be more comfortable at home,” says Dr. Carozza.
“The fact that I could go home to my own environment was better for me,” shares Pam, who also underwent a muscle repair that lengthened her recovery time. “I was on pain medicine for the first several days, then I went to Tylenol. I used the walker for a couple of weeks, maybe less, and then started using the cane.”
Physical therapists can visit patients at home to work with them. Patients can transition to this outpatient therapy in three to six weeks.
Overall, Pam is pleased with the results of her hip replacement.
“Just a few weeks after surgery I am doing my normal routine, walking two miles per day without a cane. And I’ve lost 20 pounds. Outpatient hip replacement surgery worked out very well. It was a great experience for me. I knew what to expect and I would do it again.”