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Gregg Angelillo had experienced worsening pain in his left hip for years. He tried stretching, strengthening and injections to relieve the pain, but nothing worked. In early 2022, the pain started to affect his daily life when he struggled with walking and exercise.

“I coached my kids’ teams but found it challenging to stand for long periods of time on the golf course and swing a club,” recalls Gregg, who is an investment sales professional and volunteer with the Metropolitan Golf Association.  

Dealing with pain, limited mobility and restless sleep became an everyday struggle for Gregg. In August 2022, a friend referred him to Jordan Werner, MD, a member of Summit Health’s Orthopedics team. After a thorough evaluation and imaging tests, Dr. Werner diagnosed Gregg with severe osteoarthritis.

“Gregg was a very active person and over time had worn out the ball and socket joint in his hip,” explains Dr. Werner. “Not only was his pain affecting his golf game it also had begun to affect his daily life and ability to walk and perform activities.”

Dr. Werner recommended that Gregg have a hip replacement using a direct anterior approach. Surgeons like Dr. Werner who specialize in this technique work between the muscles, sparing more soft tissue and creating fewer restrictions for patients.

 “With the direct anterior approach, the patient can start recovery sooner after surgery. They can begin walking and working with physical therapy immediately,” says Dr. Werner.

Gregg recalls the way Dr. Werner made him feel at ease. “Dr. Werner explained in great detail what was happening and what he would recommend as a solution,” said Gregg. “He explained the procedure, risks, recovery and improvements I would experience if I moved forward with the surgery.”

A few months later, Gregg had his left hip replaced. His care team made the process seamless. They scheduled all his pre- and post-surgery appointments and provided recommendations of physical therapists tailored to Gregg’s specific needs.

“I was pleasantly surprised with their professionalism and empathy for my condition,” says Gregg, who was able to access the highest level of surgical care while staying conveniently close to home. “I’ve already referred two of my friends to Dr. Werner.”

Since his surgery, Gregg has returned to a full active life. “I’m amazed at how well I feel since the surgery,” he describes. Gregg was walking only four hours after surgery, driving two weeks later and was able to return to the gym to rebuild flexibility and strength in about four weeks.

There have been many advancements in the field of total joint arthroplasty, particularly regarding hip replacements, that are allowing patients like Gregg to recover faster. For example, the use of computer navigation during direct anterior hip replacement surgery allows for more precision and decreases post-operative complication rates. 

“With the use of more aggressive therapy protocols and better pain management practices, we are seeing our patients return to their normal routine at a faster pace than we have seen in the past,” notes Dr. Werner.

Today Gregg has fully returned to exercising regularly and can now walk 36 holes of golf. “I have returned to competing and had surprising success already,” says Gregg. “I won the NJSGA Pre-Senior Championship in 2023,” just a mere 10 months after surgery.