Mountaintop Medicine from Estes Park Health: EPH surgeon provides relief from chronic hip pain

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The hip joint is one of the largest joints in the body and is a major weight-bearing joint. When arthritis, inflammation or injury impacts the hip, there are a myriad of interventions doctors can use to help.

“For many people, the thought is that the hip is anywhere from the rib cage all the way down to the knee,” said Dr. Gavin Bishop, Estes Park Health orthopedic surgeon. “That is where we think of the hip, but the hip joint itself is actually deep in the groin.”

When Dr. Bishop examines a patient with hip pain, he tries to figure out where the pain is coming from and where it radiates to. He takes x-rays and performs a physical exam to identify the range of motion and function of the hip joint.

“Sometimes we start with physical therapy and cortisone injections which may help with a lot of the symptoms and may make it manageable for some people to continue being active and doing the things they want to, even if they do have significant arthritis of the hip joint,” Dr. Bishop explained. “Once we’ve exhausted non-operative options, then we can proceed with a total hip replacement. It’s up to the patient when they want to go forward with the procedure.”

A total hip replacement procedure involves changing out the hip joint for metal, plastic, and ceramic for the head of the femoral component.

Dr. Bishop is bringing a different approach to total hip replacement with a surgery performed with an anterior approach.

“The anterior hip replacement surgery is performed through a relatively small incision in the front of the hip which goes through soft tissue,” he noted. “We move it to the side rather than taking it down and needing it to be replaced and repaired afterwards. Many people have a fast and easier recovery with an anterior approach. However, it is patient specific and that would be part of the conversation to figure out if that is the right procedure for you.”

Dr. Bishop has years of experience performing anterior total hip replacements in the Longmont area. His patients have been very happy with their outcomes. He is excited to offer this approach in Estes Park.

“Patients can recover close to home where their friends and family are,” Dr. Bishop stated. “And I’m happy to offer this procedure that people might have had to travel many miles to get before. We would really like to have patients recover at home. There’s good data to support that patients do very well when they go home the same day as the surgery. We will work hard to provide the services that the patient needs to recover safely and in good comfort.”

A total hip replacement can be helpful for many people who are limited in their activities because of the joint’s limitation. Surgery can often offer pain relief and good function of that joint after the procedure that can get them back to the life they enjoy.

For comprehensive orthopedic care close to home, think Estes Park Health. Mountaintop Medicine, Quality Care.