This past week I traveled to Santa Monica, California to visit Dr. Joel Matta at St. John's Hospital. Since I started performing the anterior hip approach surgery last fall, I have performed over 20 cases and decided it was time for another visit with Dr. Matta to see if he has updated any of his techniques. Once again, the surgical and learning experience was awesome. It really makes a big difference to spend time, one on one with an expert in the field of hip replacement surgery. No matter how many books we read or courses we attend, the best way to understand a procedure is to have hands-on experience.
Dr. Matta introduced and educated many surgeons throughout the United States regarding the use of the direct anterior hip replacement approach. Additionally, he has also developed equipment and instruments to perform the procedure. This gives him a unique insight to describe and show others the correct techniques. Dr. Matta helped develop the specialized Hana table and the RADLink device. These instruments aid in the ease of surgery for both the surgeon and the patient. The RADLink device also enables correct placement of the implants to help prevent dislocation and achieve correct leg lengths.
On the personal side, when I arrived at the Los Angeles Airport Tuesday evening, I was surprised to find my carry-on bag had wedged itself inside the overhead compartment. I could not open the overhead compartment to retrieve my bag! The stewardesses, maintenance and even the pilot came to my aid. We were unable to free the bag. In fact, the aircraft had to be taken to the hanger to have the overhead compartment dismantled to retrieve my bag. The airline delivered my bag safely to Lake Charles, mostly due to the attention, diligence, and caring of the Lake Charles American Airlines staff. So here is a big shout out to our local ground crew, especially Marguerite!!!!