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Minimally invasive hip surgery with at-home recovery

  • Hip surgery is becoming less invasive.
  • Some patients head home the same day.
  • Nurse navigators help with questions that may arise.

Get relief from chronic hip pain with minimally invasive surgery that lets you recover at home instead of in the hospital. That sounded good to Andy Goldman-Gray, a golfer and avid outdoorsman whose hip pain was sidelining him from his favorite activities.

Watch this video to hear more about Andy’s same-day joint replacement at United Hospital in St. Paul.

More on same-day joint replacement

“When I was probably 45, I started noticing pain in my left hip,” said Andy. “A good friend of mine is a physical therapist who works for Allina, and he noticed me limping around and said, ‘You should go see a doctor.’”

Andy took advantage of less invasive surgery and an Allina Health Orthopedics same-day total joint replacement program to fix his hip issue. The surgery comes with smaller incisions, and the same-day program allows patients to have a joint replaced and head home a few hours later with all the tools necessary for a successful recovery.

“Nowadays, instead of the big incision, I have two small incisions,” said Dr. Mark Heller, an orthopedic surgeon at Allina Health. “And I do that without cutting any muscle — and that makes a big difference.”

Dr. Heller says there's typically less pain, fewer restrictions and improved mobility after the muscle-sparing surgery.

“These things all lend to the same-day program,” he added.

Movement as medicine

Patients in the same-day program must pass mobility tests before being discharged.

“They made sure I could get in and out of a car, up and down stairs, sit down on a chair and lay down in a bed,” said Andy.

Doctors say this movement after surgery is helpful for recovery.

“We encourage them to use that movement as medicine,” said Dr. Lisa Koenig, an anesthesiologist. “By doing that, they're able to better take care of themselves and recover. They heal faster, they feel healthier, they feel happier.”

After leaving the hospital, patient support continues through a nurse navigator line that’s answered 24/7. If issues arise, nurses provide answers.

“So even though they're home, they're not going it alone,” Dr. Koenig said.

Andy says his recovery went well and was faster than he expected.

“It took about probably two weeks to get back to where I would say I was “normalish” and back to the things that I love to do, especially outdoors,” Andy said. “I was happy again.”


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