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Lansdale man now pain-free after consecutive anterior hip replacements

Ken Pierce

When Ken Pierce attended the grand opening of Abington Health’s Orthopaedic & Spine Institute last March, he couldn’t wait to share his experience. “I was the first patient to have anterior hip replacement with Dr. Star at the new Institute,” says the 82-year-old resident of Brittany Pointe Estates, a retirement community. “It was such a good experience I was already planning to have my other hip replaced.”

The Orthopaedic & Spine Institute (OSI) offers patients the most innovative medical/surgical treatment for hip, knee, and spine conditions, at the new dedicated unit at Lansdale Hospital.  Many of these procedures are performed with minimal incisions, allowing patients like Ken to get back to daily life with shorter hospital stays and few, if any restrictions. The OSI also provides care for sports injuries, hand injuries, trauma and more at multiple locations in the Abington Health system. 

Andrew M. Star, M.D., is chief of Orthopaedics and Medical Director of the Orthopaedic and Spine Institute. Ken was referred to Dr. Star after pain in both his legs became unbearable. The orthopaedist found that both of Ken’s hips had degenerated with age. 

Dr. Star explains, “I believed Ken was a good candidate for having anterior hip replacement for both hips. We use a special operating table with the technology to position the patient for one mini-incision on the front (anterior) of the hip joint.  The incision is made in the natural interval between the muscles to reach and remove the diseased hip joint.”

With the anterior approach, there is no need to detach muscle from the pelvis or femur (upper leg bone), so important muscles for hip function are left undisturbed. The benefit for the patient is that these muscles do not have to heal so there are no post-operative dislocation precautions.  The hip is implanted with the benefit of less pain, a faster recovery, and a quick return to normal activities like driving and in Ken’s case, playing golf.

“I can’t say enough about Dr. Star,” Ken adds. “He has so much experience with this type of thing I didn’t hesitate to have my left hip done three months later. He explained that my left leg was a half-inch shorter due to the worn cartilage and bone in my hip joint.”

Dr. Star says, “The anterior hip surgery is particularly well suited to equalizing leg lengths since we can watch the entire procedure on the specialized ‘Hana” table using x-ray.  Combining this technology with modern prosthetics provides the most accurate results possible.” 

Ken recalls, “Everyone was so nice at the Institute, from the surgeons to the nurses to the physical therapists.  It’s a wonderful, spacious facility and the rooms are large and all private. You feel like everyone and everything is there to help you get better.”

“In fact, before my second surgery, I went back to visit my nurses. I told them I wanted the same room I had the first time. They were already ahead of me. My reservation had been made,” he laughs.

Ken’s back to spending time with his friends at Brittany Pointe, playing golf and gathering for dinner after active days. “The surgeries were really a breeze,” he acknowledges. “And I’m gloriously pain free.”

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