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Robert's Story

He had felt excruciating hip pain before. It was 15 years ago.

That was when Robert Katovich first had joint replacement surgery because of the arthritis damage in his right hip. A decade and a half later, the pain was back–but this time, it was in his other hip.

"I knew it wasn't going to get any better," says Robert. "So, I decided to do something about it."

He went to Dr. Phillip Ludkowski, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, who performed hip replacement surgery on Robert's painful, damaged joint. Thanks to NCH's unique Joint Replacement Program, which includes an extremely advanced pain control procedure (using peripheral nerve blocks), Dr. Ludkowski had Robert home in only two days.

So, what's Robert up to these days? He walks five miles every morning and babysits his three young grandkids a few days a week. "My new hip is working great–and it's pain-free," Robert says. "I'm looking forward to my son's destination wedding in Mexico and to hopefully chasing more grandkids around someday."

To read other patient success stories, click here.

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Robert's Doctor
Dr. Phillip F. Ludkowski is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon on staff at NCH. For a list of orthopedic surgeons on staff at NCH, click here, or call HealthConnection at 847.618.4YOU (4968).
Robert's Treatment

Dr. Ludkowski performed a total hip replacement on Robert's diseased right hip in one of the 14 state-of-the-art operating suites at NCH in Arlington Heights.

A total hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the diseased cartilage and bone of the hip joint is removed and replaced with custom-fit artificial materials.

Because total hip replacement is a major surgery, Robert was under general anesthesia throughout the procedure. Also during surgery, his anesthesiologist, Dr. Syed Ahmed, used a lumbar plexis block to anesthetize the nerves of his lower abdomen and upper leg. This advanced nerve block technique significantly reduced Robert's post-operative pain–and got him up and walking again faster than with less sophisticated techniques.

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Last Updated 01/26/2010