PITTSBURGH (KDKA)- Krys Cappo, West Leechburg-native, had lower back pain, then groin pain. It was because of worn-out hips, and she was only 46 at the time. Because of severe arthritis on both sides, rather than prolonging her recovery with two separate surgeries, her doctor offered the option of replacing both hips at once.

“I’ve always worked two jobs, run with my kids and dog. It just put a halt to things. I was told I was too young for this operation,” said Cappo.

Dr. Julius Huebner, surgeon at Allegheny General Hospital, expressed the disabilities one would face while dealing with severe arthritis in both hips. Cappo was going through something that barely allowed her to complete normal tasks at home.

“A bilateral hip arthritis patient is extremely disabled for daily activities, such as going to the bathroom, getting out of bed, getting dressed,” said Huebner.

Ideally, patients are younger than 70, not overweight and have no other chronic health problems. The procedure is covered by insurance. It takes about one-and-a-half times as long to do both hips in one operation. Heubner uses an approach from the front and goes between the muscles, as opposed to the more common side or back approach. If healthy, Huebner says they are excellent candidates for this operation.

“There’s less pain afterwards, the muscles function better right away afterwards.” Huebner continued, “People get up right away the day of surgery and walk, initially with a walker, and progressing fairly quickly to a cane.”

In fact, Cappo was home and up the day after her surgery. Cappo’s operation took place a year and a half ago, which is now allowing her to live a normal life.

“I am so much back to normal, that I almost don’t remember what it was like before.”

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