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Hinsdale doctor pioneers new techniques for injured joints

Hinsdale – An Adventist Hinsdale Hospital physician is pioneering new medical techniques that are an alternative to hip replacement, especially in younger patients for whom hip replacement is not an option. Dr. Benjamin Domb, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine and hip injuries, has performed arthroscopic hip surgery on more than 150 patients in the past year and continues to perform several procedures every week at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.

Until recently, many patients endured chronic hip pain because there were no practical treatment options. Often these patients were told they had “early arthritis” or they were misdiagnosed with sciatica or groin pulls. Most were offered no solution. But recent advances in technology and understanding of the hip joint have allowed physicians to apply treatments to the hip that have been used on shoulder and knee conditions for years.


“Hip arthroscopy is really the final frontier of sports medicine,” Domb said. “The hip has been ignored for decades while we have been successfully repairing knees and shoulders.  Now we can offer similar solutions in the hip as well.”


This minimally invasive outpatient hip procedure gives patients the pain relief they need with tiny scars and much less postoperative pain than open surgeries. Patients are released from the hospital the same day they undergo arthroscopic surgery so they can quickly return to their regular physical activities.  Arthroscopic surgery can prevent or delay hip replacement, an invasive surgery which often results in long hospital stays coupled with at least six months of recovery.


One of Domb’s patients, 44-year-old Westchester resident Tony Hawrylicz, suffered from debilitating pain in his left leg for years. The pain had gotten so bad Hawrylicz sold his business, Kenny’s Irish Pub in Countryside, because being on his feet all day had become impossible. He visited doctor after doctor – even spending a week at the Mayo Clinic – to no avail until he went to see Domb. Domb discovered a tear in Hawrylicz’s labrum, an essential part of the cartilage of the hip, and recommended arthroscopic surgery to repair his labrum and reshape his hip joint to enable it to move smoothly and without pain. Since undergoing the procedure May 27, Hawrylicz has been pain free and can even enjoy long bicycle rides with his wife and two children.


“I tell my friends that I can’t believe how incredible the procedure was,” he said. “I feel like myself again. I feel great.”


Arthroscopy can be used for a variety of hip conditions, including labral tears, hip impingement, articular cartilage injuries, and the removal of loose bodies in the joint. Other less frequent conditions treated through hip arthroscopy include tendon or ligament injuries, hip instability, and an inflamed or damaged synovium. All of these conditions may eventually lead to arthritis and the need for hip replacement, but arthroscopic hip procedures may prevent or delay this progression.


“This procedure has been a revolution in orthopedic surgery,” Domb said.