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Hip surgery helps patient get back to normal life
Hinsdale – Rebecca Friedrich is not sure exactly how she tore the labrum in her hip, but she remembers when she started experiencing discomfort: April of 2012.

“I kind of pushed it off, thinking it was just a pulled muscle,” the Downers Grove resident said. “It never went away.”

In fact, it worsened, so much that Friedrich could not lift her leg without pain. Trying to hold it up in one place couldn’t be done. Crossing her legs was impossible. “I had to pick up my leg to put it into the car or put it in the bathtub,” she said.

A hip labrum is the cartilage located in the joint between the top of a person’s thighbone and their hip. It acts as a shock absorber in the joint and helps provide hip stability. When it tears, it can cause extreme hip pain, and a person may experience clicking in the joint. Singer Lady Gaga recently experienced a similar injury and underwent surgery to repair the problem.

A dental lab technician at the time, Friedrich stood for about eight hours a day while working. Twisting and pivoting while working may have factored into the injury, she said. To figure out what was going on, she went to a doctor, who ordered an MRI.

It was while speaking with an MRI technician that she learned about Dr. Benjamin Domb, a Chicago-based orthopedic surgeon who is one of the nation’s foremost experts on hip surgery. Domb, she discovered, is a pioneer in hip arthroscopy, and was the first surgeon in the Midwest to perform robotic hip surgery.

“He made me feel so comfortable with surgery, I was all in for it,” Friedrich said.

On Dec. 22 of last year, Friedrich had arthroscopic hip surgery with Domb at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. The procedure is minimally invasive, requiring just small incisions to get to the torn labrum. Through these small incisions, a camera and other slender instruments were used to repair the labrum, using a procedure that Domb invented. The results were dramatic.

“It was the little things that I noticed I was getting better,” Friedrich said. “I could finally touch my toes, finally tie my own shoes. One day, I was sitting there and realized I was crossing my legs and there was no pain. I had no idea I was doing it.”

Domb and other orthopedic surgeons will host a series of events this spring to help people suffering from hip pain to better understand treatment options available to them.

“With the modern surgical technology available to us, there is no reason people should continue to suffer with hip problems,” Domb said. “In most cases, there are better options than living with the pain.”

From 6:30-8 p.m. May 1, Domb will host a seminar, “Why Suffer With Hip Pain,” at the Oak Brook Park District, 1450 Forest Gate Road.

Domb’s is the second discussion in the series. The first is from 6:30-8 p.m. April 16, when Dr. Michael Durkin also presents “Why Suffer With Hip Pain” at the Oak Brook Park District.

From 6:30-8 p.m. May 7, Dr. Justin LaReau will present a seminar on the “Anterior Hip Approach,” also at the Oak Brook Park District.

Adventist Hinsdale Hospital is the only west suburban hospital to offer MAKOplasty surgical technology. This minimally invasive hip and knee procedure uses a robotic arm to provide a high level of surgical accuracy, resulting in shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery for patients.

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Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.

Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.

Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, christopher.lafortune@ahss.org; (630) 856-2354