Mercy Health Physician and orthopedic surgeon Gregory Carozza, DO, has a new option for patients needing total joint replacement surgery in the Springfield region: outpatient hip replacement.

“Total hip replacements used to take several hours, but thanks to advancements in the field, it’s now a much quicker procedure,” says Dr. Carozza, who practices from offices in Springfield and Urbana. “Less time equals less pain.”

Dr. Carozza performed total hip replacement surgery on an outpatient basis on Pam Kuss, a nurse with Mercy Health – Springfield’s endoscopy unit.

“I had been dealing with pain in my right hip for a couple of years and my lifestyle was limited,” says Kuss. “I used to walk a lot and I couldn’t do that anymore. I still worked full-time, but I was taking lots of anti-inflammatories to get through the day.”

Kuss was the first patient on May 21 at Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital and went home after 2 p.m. the same day.

“I did my first physical therapy at the hospital and was up and walking with slowly with a walker. I had a block and the pain was minimal until it wore off,” says Kuss.

Pain management is a key element in successful outpatient hip replacement surgery.

“The nerve blocks available from our anesthesia team keep people comfortable for a longer amount of time so they can get home the same or following day. Once home, a regimen of Tylenol, ibuprofen and maybe a few days of Percocet keeps them comfortable,” says Dr. Carozza. “That’s helped us get away from the IV narcotics that meant a two- or three-day stay in the hospital.”

Dr. Carozza notes that most patients prefer to heal at home and Kuss agrees.

“The fact that I could go home to my own environment was better for me,” say Kuss, who also underwent a muscle repair that lengthened her recovery time. “I used the walker for a couple of weeks, maybe less and then started using the cane. I was on pain medicine for the first several days, then I went to Tylenol.”

Physical therapists visit patients at home shortly after surgery to work on range of motion and gait training before patients transition to outpatient therapy in three to six weeks.

Kuss is pleased with the results.

“I had a gluteus medius tear and a labral tear as well as chronic bursitis. I hoped I was a candidate for arthroscopy but because I’m 59, I needed a hip replacement,” says Kuss.

Just a few weeks after surgery, Kuss “is up to my normal routine, walking two miles per day without a cane. And I’ve lost 20 pounds. Outpatient hip replacement surgery worked out very well. It was a great experience for me. I knew what to expect and I would do it again.”

Dr. Carozza practices from Mercy Health — Springfield Orthopaedics, 2600 North Limestone Street, Suite 150, Springfield, OH 45503 and Mercy Health — Urbana Orthopaedics, 900 Scioto Street, Suite 1, Urbana, OH 43078. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 937-523-9850.