Hip replacement ends three years of chronic osteo-arthritis pain

Bill Coughlin lived with extreme hip pain for more than three years. He relied on pain medications and cortisone injections to ease his pain, but that relief was temporary.

As the arthritis-induced pain progressively worsened, Coughlin realized that surgery was the only solution that would provide lasting results. That’s when he met Vineet Shah, DO, MPH, FAAOS, the Medical Director of Methodist Hospitals’ Total Joint Replacement Program.

Following a meticulous pre-operative workup and optimization, Coughlin underwent a successful same-day hip replacement at Methodist Hospitals, following which all of the debilitating hip pain was gone for good.

“I was severely limited in doing anything because of the pain,” Bill said. “The whole experience with Dr. Shah was very, very good. I felt very confident in him from the beginning.”

“I spend a lot of time explaining the surgical process,” Dr. Shah said. “That includes its risks and benefits, and how we do everything methodically and systematically, step by step.”

According to Dr. Shah, optimized patients who qualify for same-day joint replacements have the best results. Criteria for optimization include a BMI less than 40, controlled blood sugars with a HgBA1C less than 8, eliminating smoking, controlling co-morbidities, and a healthy diet before surgery.

Like all of Dr. Shah’s patients, Coughlin participated in “prehab,” which consists of an exercise regimen in the weeks before surgery to ensure he was strong enough to recover appropriately after surgery.

Prior to the surgery, Dr. Shah “templates” and plans each case using sophisticated computer software. “It’s very important to have correct size implants and pay attention to achieving equal leg length,” he said.

Dr. Shah takes pride in postoperative pain management. He has co-authored a landmark paper about intra-operative pain injections, which help control pain along with nerve blocks given by the anesthesia department. This multi-modal protocol controls pain without affecting muscle function to allow patient to walk after surgery.

Bill felt immediate relief after his surgery. The constant pain was gone and he was able to walk with a walker a few hours after surgery.

“I just can’t say enough about Dr. Shah, his staff and how helpful they were to me,” Bill said. “I can do all of those things I wasn’t able to do for the last three years. The difference is night and day.”

Dr. Shah describes the Total Joint Program as meticulous. “Attention to detail is our mantra,” he said.

Vineet Shah, DO

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