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Patient Quality of Life Enhanced with New Procedure

December 1, 2017, 10:22 AM HST
* Updated December 1, 10:23 AM
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North Hawai‘i Community Hospital (NHCH) patients who recently went through a new hip replacement procedure had the opportunity to get together with their physicians and other caregivers to celebrate the new program’s success.

Dr. Jason Kaneshige with hip replacement patient Joyetta Downey

With the new anterior hip replacement procedure, patients are able to return to full functioning much quicker and often with only a one-night stay in the hospital. With surgery done in the morning, physical therapy is usually started the same afternoon.

Joyetta Downey, an avid hiker, conservation volunteer, and high school teacher, was considering retirement due to limitations from her hip. Downey was determined to be a good candidate for the new procedure and had the surgery earlier this year performed by Jason Kaneshige, MD, orthopedic surgeon at North Hawai‘i Health & Wellness, assistant clinical professor, John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawai‘i and orthopedic trauma director, The Queen’s Medical Center.

Downey recently volunteered at the Run for the Dry Forest at Pu‘uanahulu, helping get the course ready and camping out.

“The doc did an amazing job on my new hip. He got me back on the mountain and I am forever grateful,” said Downey.

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Previously, patients needed to go to O‘ahu for an anterior hip replacement. With the procedure now available in North Hawai‘i, patients can have their surgery and recover close to home and family.

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“During an anterior hip procedure, we go between the muscles instead of through them, sparing the muscles and resulting in a much faster recovery,” said Kaneshige. “Anyone of any age with severe arthritis or other conditions impacting their quality of life may be a candidate.”

NHCH purchased specialized equipment earlier this year for this procedure. With a team approach including special imaging, pre-op patient education, specialized nursing and physical therapy protocols, and pain management to promote healing, patients are usually walking the same day as surgery.

“This surgery can relieve pain and improve quality of life, literally changing the lives of our patients for the better,” said Kaneshige.

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For more information, or to find out if you are a candidate for this surgery, contact North Hawai‘i Health & Wellness at (808) 887-2273.

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