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New Procedure Cuts Recovery Time For Hip Replacements

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A way to do hip replacements cuts recovery time dramatically.  (Source: CBS4)

A way to do hip replacements cuts recovery time dramatically. (Source: CBS4)

Marybel-Rodriguez-600x450 Marybel Rodriguez
Marybel Rodriguez is an Emmy-nominated weekend anchor for the ...
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CBS Miami (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSMiami.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSMiami.com/Health

MIAMI (CBS4) – Hip replacement surgery is the 2nd most common joint replacement procedure performed today.

Traditionally recovery take weeks but now there is a new type of hip surgery that has patients walking within hours and going home the next day.

After suffering from hip pain for years 67-year old Richard Levesque of Lauderhill is moving a bit easier these days.

“When I went into the hospital I was in real pain. I couldn’t lie down. I couldn’t move my leg,” said Levesque.

He finally decided to have surgery only when he heard about the new procedure which has a significantly reduced recovery time.

“I was at home the second day,” said Levesque.

“With the next day hip replacement, they would be up and walking the day of their surgery and home the following day,” said Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Richard Berkowitz with University Hospital in Tamarac.

He said using less invasive techniques allows patients to recover quicker and spend less time in the hospital.

“We try to avoid cutting any muscles. We split muscles. We split tendons. We cut away the area where you had arthritis before and we replace it with metal and plastic,” explained Berkowitiz.

Other benefits of the operation are that it takes just 45 minutes and does not require general anesthesia. But you have to be fit to be a candidate.

“The ideal candidate for this type of procedure is physically active, in good health, has a good pain tolerance and a positive attitude,” Berkowitz said.

Physical therapy starts right away. Patients like Levesque are up and walking within a couple of hours of surgery.

“The goal is one to get people out of pain and get them back to reasonable function, get them back to walking, driving a car, going back to work,” said Berkowitz.

Levesque is practically giddy about the results of the surgery. He said he no longer lives in pain.

“I can go in the pool. I can play golf again. To me it’s like a miracle.”

Berkowitz said the team approach to treatment from the doctor to the physical therapist to the patient is why this procedure works. The next day hip replacement is covered by insurance.

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