By Erika Z. Byrd
You can't slow down Darryl Adams, ED.D. Not for long. He's tall, athletic and on the go. As Superintendent of the Coachella Valley Unified School District, he is responsible for more than 23,000 students at 23 schools with a territory covering more square miles than the state of Rhode Island. As important as it is to him to physically visit the schools in his district, his ability to do this became increasingly difficult over the past year due to progressing arthritis in his hips from a prior accident.
At 59, Dr. Adams is not your typical hip replacement patient. He's younger than the average and needed both hips replaced. He lobbied to have them both done at the same time. "I wanted to get back to work. I didn't want to go through the recovery process twice," he said.
Orthopedic Surgeon Douglas J. Roger, M.D., medical director of joint replacement at the Institute of Clinical Orthopedics and Neurosciences (ICON) at Desert Regional Medical Center, agreed that Adams was a good candidate for what is known as one-stage bilateral hip replacement – instead of the more typical process of having them done several months apart. Adams' surgery was a resounding success. He was walking two hours after surgery and went home after just one night in the hospital.
Part of the reason for the quick recovery is the minimally invasive technique Dr. Roger is using at Desert Regional – the Direct Superior Approach. It's a technique he developed by building upon previous minimally invasive approaches to hip surgery. Orthopedic surgeons from throughout the country now regularly come to observe his surgeries.
"The Direct Superior Approach enables us to get in and out of the hip joint through a small incision and do the hip replacement safely, but at the same time not damage any of the important muscles and anatomical structures around the hip joint," said Dr. Roger. That means less trauma to the body which may lead to faster recovery and less pain after surgery. Dr. Roger has been exclusively performing the Direct Superior Approach for more than five years, and has performed more than 600 hip replacements using this method.
Another patient who had her hip replaced by Dr. Roger with this approach is Cheryl Wurth who works as an imaging technologist at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Desert Regional Medical Center. "I've been in the medical field since I was 18," said Wurth, now 65. "This is the first time I was the patient."
"Before surgery, my pain level was pushing an 8," she said "Now it's been at zero for months." Wurth only took one pain pill and then no further pain medication following her surgery. She was back to work in six weeks. "I am an ambassador for this because it's a fantastic surgery," said Wurth.
Desert Regional Medical Center has received Joint Replacement Certification by the in Hip and Knee Replacement and has received the Joint Replacement Excellence Award from Healthgrades. For more information about the hospital's joint replacement services, contact the Institute of Clinical Orthopedics and Neurosciences at 760-416-4511.
Institute of Clinical Orthopedics and Neurosciences at Desert Regional Medical Center
1180 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Suites 200, 201 and 214 W, Palm Springs, CA
760-416-4511 • www.desertregional.com/icon