Easy Going

Faster recoveries one of the hallmarks of Dr. Anthony Carter’s “Jiffy Hip” replacements.

Dr. Anthony Carter

Photo courtesy of Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital

Christie Woytowitz enjoys having her grandchildren stay with her for a week every summer. After their visit in 2017, though, her back began to hurt. “I just chalked it up to taking care of them and lifting them,” says the Virginia Beach resident. 

However, the pain grew “excruciating,” and she learned it was caused by the deterioration of her hip joints. Woytowitz planned to have a traditional total hip replacement. But then she ran into a friend, who was having an anterior hip replacement done by Dr. Anthony Carter. “She told me, ‘Christie, you’ve got to do yourself a favor. You’ve got to see Dr. Carter,’” Woytowitz recalls.

Carter is the chief of orthopaedic surgery at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News, which holds a Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement. In December 2005, he became the first surgeon in Hampton Roads to perform the total anterior hip replacement—dubbed the “Jiffy Hip” replacement because of its quick recovery time. Since then, Carter has performed more than 5,500 of the procedures and trains other surgeons around the world.

“The thing that stood out the most, right from the beginning, was how quickly the patients recovered relative to a more traditional approach,” says Carter. “It was not only the speed of the recovery, but the ease of the recovery—less pain, quicker return to function, and no restrictions.”

In traditional hip replacements, surgeons make an incision on the side (lateral approach) or the back of the hip (posterior approach), cutting through muscles. “If you cut the muscles and the tendons, then that’s part of the recovery process. You have to wait for the muscles and tendons to heal,” Carter explains.

The anterior approach involves making an incision on the front of the hip and moving muscles aside instead of cutting through them. “You take advantage of an intermuscular plane, so you literally spread between the muscles and you separate them,” he says.

Woytowitz had both hips replaced by Carter—the first one in November 2017 and the second in April 2018. “It is absolutely amazing. I’ve had incredible recovery for each hip,” she says. Following each surgery, “I was up and walking with a walker and a nurse beside me within 20 minutes of getting to the room. I did three laps of the hallway that day,” she says, and she went up and down stairs the next day. 

After one night in the hospital, she was discharged. She returned to her job as a mortgage lender the following day. “I could do that because I work at home and I wasn’t on pain medicine.” She completed physical therapy in her home and even had her grandchildren come stay for a week again. “Dr. Carter and his team at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital are top notch,” she says. “They get an A+.” BonSecours.com


This article originally appeared in our December 2018 issue.

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