A bridge to relieving hip pain

As a maintenance carpenter and painter at Princeton University in New Jersey, Milford resident Chris Frazzatta knew the aches and pains associated with such a physically demanding job. But when hip pain became a burden on everyday activities, he found hope in the local newspaper.

The pain first began disrupting Frazzatta’s mobility in 2012. He noticed over time that his pain gradually got worse. “We were on a family camping trip and it got to the point where I couldn’t walk comfortably for a short distance,” explained Frazzatta.

He chose to live with the pain, until he read an article in the local newspaper about Bayhealth Orthopaedic Surgeon Trinity Pilkington, MD, and the anterior approach to hip replacement surgery. “I never had surgery before, but after reading about the anterior hip procedure, it didn’t sound that bad,” said Frazzatta. “I made an appointment to see Dr. Pilkington.”

The first step was an X-ray, which revealed a breakdown of cartilage tissue in Frazzatta’s left hip. His surgery was scheduled for November 2014 at Bayhealth Milford Memorial.

The anterior approach to hip replacement is a muscle-sparing procedure. Using a special table, Dr. Pilkington is able to access the hip joint from the front of the hip as opposed to the back as most surgeons do. He uses a natural division between muscles so there is no need to cut, split, or detach muscles. The most important muscles for hip function and walking are left undisturbed and, therefore, requires less healing time to recover from surgical trauma. Most patients are walking just hours after their surgery without the typical limp associated with traditional approaches.

Just a couple of hours after surgery, Frazzatta was surprised to be walking. “Dr. Pilkington came to see me. He got me out of bed, and he walked with me up and down the hallway. He could have easily had a nurse do that, but he didn’t; he stayed by my side,” said Frazzatta.

The short hospital stay was a positive experience. “No patient enjoys being in the hospital,” said Frazzatta. “But the nurses and staff went out of their way to make it as pleasant as possible.”

A couple of weeks after surgery, Frazzatta had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Pilkington and was pleased to report he was pain-free. “I tell everyone with pain in their hips to go see this man; you won’t regret it,” Frazzatta said.

TOTAL KNEE AND TOTAL HIP PROGRAMS CERTIFIED BY THE JOINT COMMISSION

Bayhealth Division of Orthopaedics at Milford Memorial and the Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus received total knee and total hip certification from the Joint Commission in January 2017.

Bayhealth Orthopaedic Surgeon Stephen Manifold, MD (pictured below), said the certification is confirmation to his patients that they are receiving the highest level of care. “The accreditation by the Joint Commission is an important milestone because it formally recognizes and validates the processes that we have put in place to achieve excellence in patient outcomes and satisfaction in our patients undergoing total hip and total knee replacement,” he said. “This furthers our aim to provide the highest-quality orthopaedic care comparable to any other health system in the country.”

Orthopaedic joint replacement programs are certified under the standards for Disease-Specific Care programs. Three requirements must be met to be considered for certification — compliance with national standards, consistent use of evidence based clinical practice guidelines for the hip and knee replacement patient population, and data proving the use of at least four performance measures specific to the hip and knee replacement patient population.

Dr. Pilkington said the certification reflects Bayhealth’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. “I am proud to be able to work at a facility that upholds these patient safety and care standards,” he said. “Our team of nurses, physicians, therapists, and administrators has worked hard to attain these quality measures that improve our patient’s satisfaction and outcomes.”

Visit Bayhealth.org/Orthopaedics to learn more. To find an orthopaedic surgeon to meet your needs, call 1-866-BAY-DOCS to learn about providers in your area.