Anterior Hip Replacement the Best Choice for Active Chicago Man

Did you know groin pain can be a sign of problems with the hip?

Forty-five-year-old Fred Toussaint of Chicago didn't.

The physically fit pharmaceutical sales representative thought the sharp groin discomfort he experienced while playing competitive soccer was muscle strain. So Toussaint gave himself some time off from the game last fall to let it heal.

When the pain persisted, he made an appointment with his doctor, who told him it was actually a symptom of severe arthritis of the hip joint.

Toussaint had played soccer at the University of Illinois-Springfield on a full scholarship and continued playing semi-professionally until last fall.

Favoring a conservative approach at first, Toussaint had a cortisone shot, but its effects were short-lived.

"I couldn't get in my car," he added. "Sitting hurt. Standing hurt. I favored my left leg for almost two months."

Then, in early 2012, Toussaint happened to be on a professional office visit to orthopedic surgeon Daniel Weber, M.D., when Dr. Weber noticed his discomfort. After a brief discussion, Toussaint had an X-ray on the spot.

Then Dr. Weber told him about a newer type of hip replacement surgery called the anterior approach.

Unlike traditional hip surgeries, which involve a lengthy 10- to 12-inch incision through the buttock muscles and tendons, anterior hip replacement reaches the hip joint from the front. Using a specially engineered operating table, surgeons work between the muscles and tissues without detaching them, leading to a quicker recovery and preventing hip dislocation.

Afterwards, patients can immediately bend at the hip and bear full weight when comfortable, which means a more rapid return to normal function. Other benefits include a shorter hospital stay, smaller incision and less pain.

Following anterior hip replacement at Ingalls in March, the energetic father of three was walking on his own within two weeks.

"People can't tell I've had hip surgery," he adds. "It's like night and day. I feel great!"

And though he may be hanging up his soccer shoes permanently, Toussaint plans to coach the sport that he has played since his youth in Haiti and resume other forms of physical activity, like running.

In the meantime, he is a vocal advocate of the anterior hip replacement at Ingalls.

"I would definitely recommend it," he concluded. "I've already told a couple of my colleagues about it. There's really nothing to it. I'm living proof of that."

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