Experiencing hip, knee or shoulder pain? According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, you may be one of more than 450,000 Americans who have total hip replacements, one of the 790,000 people who have knee replacements or one of more than 50,000 who have shoulder replacements each year in the U.S.
If you’re in otherwise good health, you could even be a candidate for outpatient surgery for these procedures. Dr. Nikhil Pandhi, D.O., M.P.H, is a well-regarded orthopedic surgeon at North Point Orthopaedics in Munster who specializes in the hip, knee and shoulder, including anterior hip replacements, total knee and partial knee replacements and reverse total shoulder and total shoulder replacements. He noted that “hip and knee replacements are two of the most successful surgeries in orthopedics and the goal is to get 20 to 25 years out of a joint replacement to provide pain relief so people can enjoy retirement and an active lifestyle.”
While hip and knee replacements were once thought of as surgeries for the elderly, Dr. Pandhi said he is seeing younger and younger patients lately. They may be athletes or weekend fitness warriors, and these surgeries are common for individuals who work in a strenuous, labor-intensive job that’s physically demanding on the body or those who suffer from old injuries or have genetic hip or knee maladies. Before recommending surgery, Dr. Pandhi carefully considers factors such as age, health status, weight and activity levels before determining the appropriate treatment method, and some patients may need to lose weight before joint replacement to avoid potential infection and other adverse outcomes. Non- surgical treatment options may be suggested for less severe hip, knee and shoulder pain.
“I try to exhaust all possibilities before suggesting surgery, such as physical therapy, medications, cortisone injections or viscosupplementation (gel injections),” he explained. “We also can u ‘biological injections’ like P Rich Plasma (PRP) or Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Therapy (BMAC), which use high concentrations of cells that help recruit the proper growth factors that we believe may help in joint preservation. These are options for patients whose joints are not bone on bone and not yet ready for a replacement.”
When non-surgical options fail to provide adequate pain relief, hip replacement may be suggested. Per Johns Hopkins Medicine, a total hip replacement, also called a “total hip arthroplasty,” replaces parts of a hip joint with artificial parts. “An orthopedic surgeon can do these procedures from a posterior hip approach (back of the hip) , lateral hip approach (side) or an anterior hip approach (front) of the hip.
Total hip replacement with anterior approach refers to surgeries done from in front of the hip” and “eliminates the need to cut through major muscle groups surrounding the joint.”
Since 2011, Dr. Pandhi has performed multiple total hip replacements per week in Northwest Indiana and finds the anterior method to be extremely successful.
“The anterior approach spares the muscles, as there is no cutting of the muscles or tendons as in traditional posterior surgery, which weakens the muscles,” he said. “We also see that patients experience earlier pain relief and quicker function, such as walking, with anterior total hip replacement surgery. Healthy patients who fit our criteria may be candidates for outpatient surgery for replacements of hip, knee and shoulder. Most can soon be out and about enjoying a good, functional and active lifestyle.”
Dr. Pandhi uses a special surgical table called a “HANA Table” that allows hyperextension and external rotation during anterior hip replacement. The table allows him to correctly position the femur, precisely position the hip for patients with good bone density, allowing us to not need bone cement or any other extra materials for the knee joint,” he said. Knee replacement surgery for healthy patients are outpatient, typically take about 45 minutes to an hour to perform and therapy at materials.
Dr. Pandhi earned his master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, attended Michigan State University, School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his orthopedic residency at Michigan State University. During his fellowship in orthopedic surgery sports medicine, he worked with professional athletes as assistant to head team physicians from the Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers at the Detroit Medical Center Sports Medicine Program. He also took care of the Catholic Central football team, a Metro Detroit high school powerhouse.
Always wanting to do better for patients, Dr. Pandhi keeps up with the latest technology and has others in pain are seen in his office within 24 to 48 hours. His ultimate goal is to get people back to health and function as quickly as possible. Dr. Pandhi is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Arthroscopy Association of North America, and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.
He is a partner at North Point Orthopaedics and is on staff at Community Hospital in Munster and St. Catherine’s Hospital in East Chicago and holds privileges at Franciscan Hospitals. Outside the office, Dr. Pandhi enjoys spending quality time with his family, daily exercises, playing guitar and traveling. He is passionate about the relationships he creates with his patients and the satisfaction he feels when surgery and accurately position the replacement components for proper hip joint movement.
“Ultimately I have been given the distinct privilege of getting people back to what they love to do and improving their quality of life.” North Point Orthopaedics is at 801 Macarthur Blvd. in Munster. Dr. Pandhi also performs reverse total shoulder and total shoulder replacement surgery, where, similar to hip and knee replacements, the damaged parts of the shoulder are removed and replaced with artificial joint treatments including PRP, BMAC injections; and adipose tissue treatments. Dr. Pandhi sees robotic knee and hip replacements as the trend for the future and has been involved in the research of these surgeries.
Because of his patient-first ideology, Dr. Pandhi understands the urgency of injuries. He ensures that injured workers, athletes and more information about the practice and Dr. Pandhi, call 219-836-1060 or visit nportho.net.