New Total Hip Procedure Makes a Splash
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The Orthopaedic and Spine Institute at Saint Agnes Hospital, is the reason the 74-year-old Filipczak continues his favorite hobby—serving as a volunteer scuba diver at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. In 2008, Filipczak, a retired psychologist who treated children in residential centers, began to feel pain in his hip joint, and he noticed a limp. He found it more and more difficult to lug his scuba equipment and dive in the aquarium’s two exhibits. Filipczak returned to the doctor who had surgically repaired the hip, which he had injured in Cozumel in late 2005, but no action was taken.
After getting worse, his primary care physician told him the only one to see was Dr. Sydney. The orthopaedist confirmed that his left leg had become shorter than his right, his muscles had atrophied and walking was nearly impossible.
In March 2010, Dr. Sydney performed a minimally invasive anterior hip replacement, a newer, cutting-edge procedure that offers an easier and more rapid recovery than traditional methods. Dr. Sydney, one of the few surgeons in the area to choose this method for hip replacement surgery, prefers to avoid cutting through muscle to get to the hip joint. It is a more challenging surgery and requires more precision, but it leaves the patient with just one incision at the front of the hip instead of two incisions at the back and front, requiring further recovery.
The anterior surgery is performed using a specialized table that was developed by a colleague of Dr. Sydney’s. Today, Dr. Sydney speaks at national surgical meetings about this innovative device and how it benefits patients by enabling the minimally invasive procedure. And although the surgery is more challenging, it is worth the extra effort.
“Seeing how well the patient does reaffirms the sense that it is worth the extra trouble,” said Dr. Sydney, who has practiced at Saint Agnes Hospital since 1988 and is one of Maryland’s leading orthopaedic surgeons, performing more than 300 hip and knee replacements each year.
“It’s all about the patient,” he said. “If a family member of mine needed surgery, this is the way to do it.” —Dr. Sam Sydney
Dr. Sydney credits the teams at Saint Agnes Hospital for the success of his patients. Dedicated teams in the operating room, rehabilitation department and Independence Square enable patients to recover 50 percent faster than patients undergoing the surgery using traditional methods.
To this day, Filipczak raves about the care he received at Saint Agnes Hospital. From the nurses to the physical therapy and rehabilitation staff, everyone was “just marvelous,” he said.
By May 25, just 10 weeks after a total hip replacement, he was back in the water feeding the aquatic creatures and enjoying the scenery.
“Dr. Sydney’s magic touch got me back in the water,” said Filipczak. “And the best part is my left leg is now the same length as my right. There’s no limp, and you can’t tell I had a hip replacement. I feel really good.”
In addition to practicing orthopaedics, Dr. Sydney is involved in improving hip and knee replacement designs, as well as improving patient outcomes and safety.
BY LINDA ESTERSON