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More people opting for hip replacement surgery

(WBAY)
Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 3:16 PM CDT
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A Fox Valley orthopedic surgeon marks a milestone today, tied to the incredible advancements in hip replacement surgery.

"With these very durable and smooth materials these hips are lasting, should last 20-plus years," explains Dr. Brian Lohrbach using a model of a hip joint.

Dr. Lohrbach, with Orthopedic & Sports Institute of the Fox Valley, says even he is amazed at the pace at which hip replacement surgery is heading.

"In 2000 we did 138,000 hip replacements and then the next decade mark in 2010 it was 310,000, and they anticipate now when we have the next measure which would be this year, maybe a little off with the current pandemic, but they're predicting over a half million hip replacements done in the United States," says Dr. Lohrbach.

Dr. Lohrbach attributes the increase to two primary factors: an aging population which receives the majority of joint replacements, and also because he says people are more active and less willing to live in pain.

"I have a number of patients come in in their 40's, 50's who are unhappy with their quality of life and say I've got to get something done with us," says Dr. Lohrbach.

While the most common surgery remains the posterior hip replacement approach, Dr. Lohrbach switched exclusively to the anterior approach nearly eight years ago.

"So rather than coming in from the back and dislocating the hip, you actually take advantage of the fact the muscles in the front of the hip run in this direction, they run down your leg so you can actually make an incision and separate the muscles to approach the hip," explains Dr. Lohrbach.

Today, Dr. Lohrbach performed his 1000th anterior hip replacement.

"The recovery tends to be a bit faster, so a month or two faster, the restrictions post-operatively, the things we tell our patients they can and cannot do, there are less restrictions," says Dr. Lohrbach.

And patients are back on their feet the same day.

"In the late 90's to 2001, I mean our patients were in the hospital for five days, they didn't get out of bed the first day, they'd be using bed pans and everything, now it's like we get them up moving right away and they love it," says Dr. Lohrbach.

Dr. Lohrbach says his procedure averages around one hour and 15 minutes.

He performs an average of three or four hip replacement surgeries a day, twice a week.

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