CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Hip replacement surgery is certainly not new, but doctors in Conway say they have tweaked the procedure to make it less invasive.
According to area medical professionals, knee and hip surgery has been refined to make it an outpatient procedure, so it's become less of an event in people's lives. Now, they're able to get up and move quicker, with less pain.
For 43-year-old Brian Lazar of Myrtle Beach, the pain started two years ago.
"I thought maybe if I walked a lot more, lifted more weights, something like that, I could kind of work it out, thinking it was maybe a pulled muscle or something," he said.
The pain continued to get worse and Lazar found himself unable to sleep.
A father of two who enjoys the outdoors, fishing and working out, the pain was affecting his life.
"I couldn't go outside, I couldn't play with my kids, I mean, even just watch my daughter's soccer match on the sidelines," Lazar said. "It was miserable."
After visiting Dr. Peter Ramsey at Coastal Orthopedics in Conway, Lazar said he learned his pain was the result of osteoarthritis in the hip
Ramsey said hip replacement is a procedure that exists to help people primarily with this affliction.
"Over time the cartilage wears down and typically it happens in our middle and older ages, but sometimes it happens at an earlier age," Ramsey said.
In January 2017, Ramsey performed Lazar's hip replacement, removing the painful hip joint and replacing it with an artificial one.
Lazar said the results were instant and the pain was "totally gone." His wife, Allison, videoed her husband's recovery and shared his progress on social media.
"We've tweaked the procedure, medications, our process," Ramsey said. "We've learned how to do it safely as an outpatient."
The procedure once required patients to stay, in some cases, up to a week in the hospital. Now they can go home the same day and recover.
Ramsey added patients even heal faster because they use non-traditional methods to close incisions.
"We've started doing it from the interior approach. It takes you between the muscles of the front of the hip instead of cutting through the muscles of the back of the hip, and that's to allow the patients to get up and move a little bit quicker often with less pain than they used to have," Ramsey said.
It's been eight months since Lazar's surgery, and he's back to doing what he loves - living life.
"(I'm) 100 percent better. I mean, it's amazing how much better I feel," said Lazar with a smile.
Ramsey said not every patient is a candidate for outpatient hip replacement, and just like any surgery, there are risk factors. He said age, and previous and/or current medical conditions are considered when signing up for the procedure.