New Hip Surgery

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

A new medical breakthrough is getting young people with chronic hip pain back on their feet. One Rockford woman says the surgery gave her a new lease on life.
Lucinda Tucker's wheels are spinning once again. She's back in action and pain free for the first time in a long time.
Says Tucker, "I have my life back. I have grandkids, a full time job, friends, family etc. and you start not participating in your life, you kind of become sidelined because getting up, moving, it hurts all day every day."
Tucker has osteoarthritis and she's only 52, too young for a traditional hip replacement. Enter the new hip resurfacing surgery. It received F.D.A. approval in May and Dr. Mark Barba of Rockford Orthopedic Associates began performing it late last year.
"This is a hip replacement surgery aimed at the younger individual, who wants to have a high level of activity after this replacement," says Dr. Barba.
A total hip replacement removes a chunk of the thigh bone, or femur, at the hip joint and inserts a metal rod in the bone. It restricts the patient's motion and only lasts 15 years tops, before another, more difficult surgery is required.
By contrast, hip resurfacing removes a minal amount of bone, allowing a full range of motion and making future surgery much easier.
Says Dr. Barba, "Often times a young patient with the type of problems that require this sort of implant did physical therapy, they took medication, often with incomplete relief but now these patients can be returned to full athletic activity."
That's just what Tucker is doing. She says, "My grandkids sat down and made a list of all the things we're gonna go and do again this year."
Dr. Barba is one of only 400 doctors nationwide qualified to do the surgery. Rockford Orthopedic hopes to train a second doctor next month.


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