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Orthopedic institute helps patients return to active lives

by: PHOTO: MERRY MACKINNON - Three days after 70-year-old Judy Hampton's hip replacement surgery at Adventist Health Aspire Orthopedic Institute, the swelling went down and she was able to get into her jeans. Soon she could do things, such as sit in and drive her sports car, that previously were too painful.As the first person to have hip surgery in the new Adventist Health Aspire Orthopedic Institute, Judy Hampton has enjoyed a quick recovery and active lifestyle that have made her a poster patient for the unit.

Located on the fifth floor of Adventist Medical Center at 10123 S.E. Market St. in Portland, the recently opened institute offers a holistic approach to orthopedic treatment, from 3-D computer imaging and robotic-assisted surgery to rehabilitation that includes careful exercising, along with group therapy and mood-boosting flowers and art work on display.

“There is a whole spectrum of things to get patients back to the lives they want to live,” Adventist Orthopedic Surgeon Rishi Gupta said. “Our goal is to have them walk a mile by a month.”

The institute incorporates all orthopedic subspecialties under one roof, but most patients are admitted for hip or knee surgery. With minimally invasive surgery, surgeons may, for example, use a technique for replacing hips called direct anterior approach.

“There are no cut tendons,” Gupta said. “After surgery, we just close the fascia and close the skin so patients recover very fast.”

Osteoarthritis is the most common condition leading to hip and knee surgeries. Other causes might include trauma or rheumatoid arthritis. One of Gupta’s patients, in her mid-70s, had suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for more than 25 years. Over time her hip deteriorated, and she no longer could endure sitting in a chair. Gupta performed the surgery to replace her hip. The following day when he went to her room to check on her, she was sitting in a chair.

Three days after Hampton’s hip replacement surgery in March — it was her second one — the swelling went down and she was able to put on her jeans.

“A year ago I was in a lot of pain. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t walk,” recalled Hampton, 70. “Then, after I had my first hip replacement last October, the other hip went fast.”

Since the surgery she’s been gardening outside her home in Oregon City and is looking forward to riding her bicycle and her four-wheeler in Arizona, where she and her husband vacation.

“I’m 100 percent better,” she said.

But before she had her first hip surgery, Hampton admitted she was very scared. That’s a common emotion, Gupta said, estimating more than 80 percent of people needing such surgeries are too afraid to have them done.

“The horror stories perpetuate fear,” he said. “But things have changed. Newer techniques and technology make recovery faster and less painful.”