Evan Bevan knew he’d need hip replacement surgery someday, but he kept putting it off. “I couldn’t fathom trading a piece of my body in exchange for a piece of metal,” says the 63-year-old New York City commuter bus driver.
Periodic cortisone injections relieved the pain in his left hip for several years. “When that relief only lasted a week, I knew it was time,” says Bevan, a recreational golfer from Bethlehem who began leaning on his 8-iron for support and cut his usual 18 holes down to 12.
So Bevan turned to Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) orthopedic surgeon Kevin Anbari, MD, with OAA Orthopaedic Specialists. Anbari performed hip replacement surgery inside the Center for Orthopedic Medicine at LVHN–Tilghman in Allentown, the region’s only campus dedicated solely to orthopedic care.
“The staff answered every question I had, the nurses took great care of me, and the hospital itself was like a hotel,” Bevan says. “I had a flat-screen TV in my room. I ordered tea off a menu, and it arrived within minutes. And my room had a cushioned bench that could seat five visitors.”
Hip replacement is major surgery. Anbari used a direct anterior approach. During the procedure he went in between Bevan’s thigh muscles to expose the hip and then removed the arthritic part of Bevan’s thigh bones and hip socket, replacing them with an artificial hip.
Yet for Bevan, the recovery was fast. He was out of bed the afternoon of his surgery and discharged by noon the next day. He exchanged his walker for a cane one week after surgery, and within two weeks was walking on his own and using the steps. “Health care professionals are my heroes,” he says, “from the primary care doctors who keep you healthy to the skilled surgeons who remove your pain and help you recover.”
Such recovery is common. “Most people overestimate how long they’ll be laid up,” Anbari says. “But most patients are out of bed the day of surgery, and many leave the hospital the next day, just like Evan did.”
And while Bevan was concerned about the surgery at first, he’s amazed at how much he now can do pain-free – from bending over to tie his shoes to playing 18 holes of golf and walking the whole course. “I would do it again if my other hip needs it,” he says.