Brad’s Story

Patients Share Their Experience with Orthopedic Services at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center

Cleveland meteorologist Brad Sussman was no stranger to orthopedic surgery – he experienced his first hip replacement nearly a decade ago.

Seeking the least invasive option possible, Sussman chose UH Parma Medical Center orthopedic surgeon Larry Lika, DO to perform the anterior approach to minimally invasive hip replacement.

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“I was blown away by the difference,” said Sussman, of the experience of the new hip replacement procedure. “This is absolutely the way to go.”

In 20 years of practice, Dr. Lika has had many patients who have experienced the posterior approach on one hip and the newer, anterior approach on the other side. With the anterior approach, the surgeon reaches the hip from the front of the joint between two muscles, rather than cutting through muscle and reattaching it. The hip ball and socket are removed and replaced through small incisions, limiting post-operative discomfort.

“Minimally invasive doesn’t just mean a smaller incision,” says Dr. Lika. “It also means that you’re not destroying all the muscle and tissue below it, which is where the pain comes in.”

Sussman was standing and walking the day after surgery and went home from UH Parma Medical Center three days later. “There is a day and night difference,” says Dr. Lika, whose patients come to the office two weeks after surgery without a cane or a walker.

Therapy Strengthens New Hips

At UH Parma Medical Center, orthopedic surgery takes an innovative approach to healing with Joint Camp, earning the Gold Seal of Approval for health care quality from The Joint Commission. Less than three weeks after surgery to replace his hip, Brad Sussman was cycling on a stationary bike and doing squats and side leg raises.

While these exercises took place under the watchful eye of physical therapist Mike Scharf, this type of rehabilitation would have been almost impossible so soon after his first hip replacement nine years earlier.

UH Parma Medical Center advises each patient participate in physical therapy with trained specialists to ensure proper post-surgical care of the new joint.

“With the anterior approach, the therapists can be much more aggressive in rehab, because previous setbacks and concerns no longer apply,” says orthopedic surgeon Larry Lika, DO.

“The muscles have not been disturbed. You will never fully get your function back without physical therapy,” says physical therapist Scharf. “Patients really don’t know where to start on their own, or they can develop other problems by performing exercises the wrong way. “Our brain is smart and finds ways to compensate and avoid pain. Therapists are trained to help patients work through that and exercise safely.”

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