Hip Surgery

DANVILLE — Hip pain is a common ailment for older adults, and severe hip pain can lead to needing a hip replacement.

But what if you’re in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s?

That’s what these doctors from Geisinger Medical Center near Danville want to talk about.

Dr. Michael Suk is chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

“We’re beginning to look at new procedures to reshape the hip socket, and ultimately doing a minimally invasive procedure to keep as much bone stock as possible, for a later total hip replacement if necessary in the future.”

A hip “preservation” procedure.

Sometimes, usually because of genetics, a hip socket is simply more shallow than it should be.

Surgeon Dr. James Widmaier calls to mind a patient in his 40’s in good health with that issue.

“He came to me after about 5 years of increasing pain in the groin, unable to walk and having difficulty getting his leg over a motorcycle.”

The patient had bone-on-bone arthritis and needed a hip replacement, but because of his age was not a candidate for typical replacement surgery.

Instead doctors did a hip preservation, literally saving more of his bone for now, until a replacement is possible, which could be decades from now.

Immediately, Dr. Widmaier said the patient had better range of motion.

And within a few weeks?

“He could walk without a limp, walk pain free, and was off medication.”