About two and a half years ago, James Moskos, 61, of Huntington, NY, became the primary caregiver for both of his ailing parents. He ended up leaving his job in the health insurance industry to spend months at a time in Florida, where they both lived. “My father succumbed to cancer while I was helping him, and my mother recently passed from Alzheimer’s disease,” he said.
Around the time James started looking after his parents, a health issue of his own began to surface—pain and weakness in his left hip flexor muscle. At first, he managed the discomfort with ibuprofen, but after a while pain medication didn't work.
He scheduled a consultation with an orthopedist who said the hip was degenerating and would likely need to be replaced in the next five years. “I was floored,” said James, adding that he worked out a few times a week and was at a healthy weight, so the news was surprising.
He was also taken aback by how quickly his hip actually worsened—the joint seemed to deteriorate at the same pace his parents’ health declined. “It was like running out of gas,” he said. For a while, he was functioning relatively well on half a tank. “But all of a sudden it seemed like I had a quarter tank, and within a couple of months, the joint was on empty. It all happened so fast.”
James couldn’t stand in one place for more than about two minutes at a time or walk more than 100 yards without pain. After doing some online research, James and his son agreed that Northwell orthopedic surgeon Jonathan R. Danoff, MD, was the one to see because he embraced advanced surgical techniques and had an impressive research background. “He’s a joint replacement specialist who is really into his craft,” said James.
After meeting Dr. Danoff, James learned that hip replacement surgery was his best treatment option. “I had a bunch of questions and he answered all of them. He was extremely attentive and focused,” said James. He was also impressed by Dr. Danoff’s innovative approach to hip replacement surgery. Instead of making an incision through the glutes, he accesses the joint at the front of the hip using a minimally invasive technique—what physicians call the anterior approach. This method allows patients to heal more quickly, and in many cases, go home the same day.