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New Directions

Issue: Winter

Turning the Table for Hip Replacement Patient

Patient Betsy Feinberg of Bethesda
At 67, like so many of us who plan to remain active throughout our lives, Betsy Feinberg wasn’t going to be sidelined when osteoarthritis began to slow her down. The condition is the result of cartilage padding wearing away completely from the end of the bones, leaving them to rub directly against each other, which causes decreased mobility and chronic pain. Feinberg tried everything to relieve the pain, including physical therapy and acupuncture. “I was walking around with a lot of hip pain,” said Feinberg, a former teacher. “The impact on my life was horrendous.”

When hip replacement surgery appeared inevitable, Feinberg researched her options. She wanted a surgeon who would take time to understand her health history and busy lifestyle and who had performed a lot of hip replacement operations. She was especially interested in a less-invasive technique called anterior hip replacement. She learned about Dr. Sridhar Durbhakula, an orthopedic surgeon who has been perfecting the technique using a special operating table for the past several years. This new surgical table allows unique positioning of the hip, giving the surgeon a better visual field. “No other table can position the hip in this way,” said Dr. Durbhakula. “It also works for making sure both legs are even and that the new joint components are placed in the best position.”

With the anterior approach, surgeons make only one minimally invasive incision, plus they do not have to cut muscle, which, according to Dr. Durbhakula, generally means a less painful and much shorter recovery for the patient. These factors also help boost the long-term success of the prosthesis, he added.

Satisfied that she had done her homework, Feinberg was prepared to move forward. Dr. Durbhakula would perform her anterior hip replacement using this new technology at the Suburban Hospital Joint Replacement Center, one of the highest-volume joint programs in the state and the only Joint Commission–accredited program in Montgomery County. Surgeons perform close to 1,200 joint replacements annually at the Center.

HANA Group Photo l-r: Emily Hamilton, RN, OR specialty coordinator for orthopaedics and podiatry; Amanda Bentley, surgical tech; orthopaedic surgeon J. Patrick Caulfield, MD, medical director, Suburban Hospital Joint Replacement Center; orthopaedic surgeon Sridhar Durbhakula, MD and Pia Rena, RN, OR specialty coordinator for orthopaedics and podiatry.

Feinberg, who was out of the country leading up to her surgery, said she was delighted with her success in communicating with Dr. Durbhakula and the Suburban Joint Center. “I Skyped and emailed when I had questions for the doctor and the Center staff or if they needed information from me,” said Feinberg, whose surgery was October 3. “I made it back just in time to attend the pre-joint surgery class the day before my surgery, which was extremely helpful.” In just weeks after surgery, Feinberg could move in ways that she had not been able to in five years.

“My advice to anyone considering joint replacement surgery is to choose a surgeon and a hospital that perform high volumes of surgeries and offer you options,” said Feinberg. “In my case, the Suburban Hospital Joint Replacement Center and Dr. Durbhakula fulfilled both objectives.”

To Learn more | Srdihar Durbhakula, M.D., is a fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with the OrthoBethesda practice located at 10215 Fernwood Road, Suite 506, in Bethesda, Maryland. The practice accepts most insurance plans. To make an appointment, call 301-530-1010.

To watch a video about the Suburban Hospital Joint Replacement Center and to see a presentation on anterior hip replacement surgery by Dr. Durbhakula, go to suburbanhospital.org/JointCare.

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