Annette Douglas, 71, proudly trekked up and down the hills of her Riverdale neighborhood every day until about three years ago, when annoying hip pain first slowed her down. The annoyance progressed into debilitating pain that kept her from the things she enjoys most—climbing her hills and, even worse, playing with her grandchildren.
“I had no quality of life because of the pain,” Douglas said. Not one to be deterred by her age, she asked her friends for recommendations for an orthopedic surgeon and multiple people suggested Jakub Tatka, M.D., a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital, practicing with ColumbiaDoctors. Just two months after her first visit with Dr. Tatka, Douglas had hip replacement surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence, and her rehabilitation team had her walking within hours of surgery.
“I don’t even feel like I had a hip replacement,” Douglas said only six months after her surgery. “I feel very blessed. When I think where I was last year at this time, I realize what a difference it made!”
Dr. Tatka, who specializes in complex adult hip and knee reconstruction and hip preservation, diagnosed Douglas’ hip damage from imaging tests.
“Annette had groin pain caused by hip bone loss, and some of the cartilage in the hip had worn away,” Dr. Tatka said. “This type of bone loss and pain resulting from severe osteoarthritis and bone spurs was not going to improve with conservative treatment.”
The best option for her to combat additional damage and worsening pain was hip replacement surgery, Dr. Tatka said. When deciding to have the procedure, Douglas conducted research and took a joint replacement prep class at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence to understand the surgery and recovery process.
“I could have done surgery at NewYork-Prebsyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, but I chose Lawrence,” Douglas said. “I had my own private room, my daughters and my three younger brothers came, and the nurses were wonderful. It was more convenient for my family to go to NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence [than to travel into the city].”
Dr. Tatka is a member of the Columbia University Irving Medical Center Department of Orthopedics, which has offices in Eastchester and Tarrytown, bringing the same care provided at Columbia in the city to Westchester patients.
“I was impressed that Dr. Tatka specializes in the anterior approach to hip replacement,” Douglas continued. “Dr. Tatka performed a true miracle on my hip.”
Dr. Tatka trained under Dr. Joel Matta, internationally renowned hip and pelvic specialist, who designed a special operating table for anterior patients. During the minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Tatka made a 3- to 4-inch incision in the front of Douglas’s hip, through which he removed her diseased hip joint and replaced it with a prosthetic.
“Recovery time is quick with anterior hip replacement because it spares muscle,” Dr. Tatka said. “Patients walk the same day as their surgery, and most go home that day. Full recovery takes three to six months, with most patients improving within a few weeks.”
After a three-day hospital stay, Douglas received at-home physical therapy for about three weeks and then continued therapy at a local facility for several months.
“I always loved to walk, and Dr. Tatka with his knowledge and gifted hands gave this back to me,” Douglas said. “I am walking hills again and playing on the floor with my youngest grandson. I feel 25 instead of 71.”
Jakub Tatka, M.D., is an assistant attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital and an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is a traveling physician with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team who specializes in complex adult hip and knee reconstruction and hip preservation. NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital, in collaboration with the Columbia University Department of Orthopedic Surgery, is home to some of Westchester county’s best orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists. This clinical team includes experts in the treatment of acute or chronic orthopedic injury, disease, or disorder affecting people of various skill levels and regardless of age.
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