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Touchdown! Even the Young Can Benefit from Hip Surgery

Monday, April 25, 2011 - Danbury, CT

Robert Deveney, M.D.

Robert Deveney, M.D.
Co-Director, Joint Program
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Bilateral Hip Surgery at the Joint Replacement/Spine Center at Danbury Hospital  

At 33, Josh Kermashek of Brookfield, Connecticut couldn’t bear the thought a crippling hip condition would keep him on the sidelines for good, unable to one day teach his two-year-old son to play football. “Is this really how I’m going to live for the next 35 years of my life?” he wondered.

Now thoughts of living life as an observer rather than a participant are long gone thanks to bilateral hip replacement surgery performed by Robert Deveney, MD, co-director of the Joint Replacement/Spine Center at Danbury Hospital.

A Pain-Free Life with Two New Hips

“If you saw me now you would never guess I have two new hips,” said Kermashek, who no longer walks with a limp. Also gone is the pain that radiated from his hips to his knees, legs and ankles.

He’s back to his physical work installing and servicing heating and air conditioning units. Best of all, he can sit cross-legged on the floor to play with his toddler. “My main concern was staying physically active so I could run around with my son as he grew up.”

Hip Surgery for the Young

While other surgeons may hesitate to perform hip replacement surgery on such a young patient, the orthopedic team at Danbury Hospital has the expertise to provide the surgical solutions that restored Kermashek’s health and quality of life.

“Years ago, people considered a total hip replacement as a last resort or something to avoid until they were much older. No one in their 30s or 40s would think of having this procedure. But that hasn’t been true for some time,” said Dr. Deveney, an orthopedic surgeon with Danbury Orthopedic Associates.

Past concerns about the durability and longevity of implants in such young patients are no longer valid. “Advances in the design of implants along with minimally invasive surgical techniques used today give us the confidence to perform hip replacements in patients this young,” said Dr. Deveney. “We can help people get back to their normal lifestyle, regardless of their age or activity level.”

A Crippling Arthritic Condition

For years, Josh blamed his worsening pain on the physical nature of his work. “I thought I was out of shape and getting old,” he said. “Then I discovered I had a real medical condition that deteriorates the hip because of a lack of blood flow."

“Josh had a type of arthritis known as avascular necrosis or AVN which occurs more commonly in younger people,” explained Dr. Deveney. “This condition affects how blood circulates in the hip bone which causes the arthritis.”

A hip replacement became the best option when other surgical procedures to arrest the progression of the disease didn’t help. “I’m glad that Dr. Deveney explored the less invasive procedures first,” said Kermashek. “He’s the best hip surgeon around.”

Customized Hip Replacements

Kermashek was fitted with an implant to meet his unique anatomical and lifestyle needs. “Implants come in a variety of sizes and materials, allowing us to customize the prosthesis depending on a patient’s age and activity level,” said Dr. Deveney. “This gives people the most effective use of their hips and greater ability to return to their normal routine.”

“I was up and walking an hour after surgery,” said Kermashek. He stayed in the hospital two days with the first surgery and was home less than 24 hours after the second. He followed up with physical therapy at home and at the Danbury Hospital Rehabilitation Center. “The recovery time isn’t that long if you dedicate yourself to getting it done.”

Get Your Life Back with Hip Surgery

“The beauty of a total hip replacement is that the procedure gives people the ability to return to activities they haven’t been able to enjoy for years,” said Dr. Deveney.

For Kermashek, that means back to his favorite past-time – playing with his toddler. “He’s no longer faster than me!”

About Danbury Hospital

Danbury Hospital is a leader in complex surgical care and minimally invasive technologies for cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, orthopedics and spine care, breast disease and cancer. Surgeons use the da Vinci robotic surgery system and advanced imaging to perform surgery and interventional procedures together. Key specialty centers at the 371-bed hospital include the Total Joint Replacement Program, the Spine Center, the Praxair Cancer Center, the Praxair Regional Heart and Vascular Center, the Center for Weight Loss Surgery, and the Family Birth Center, which welcomes 2,500 babies annually. In 2010, it opened the Danbury Hospital Research Institute in 2010 with a world-renowned team to focus initially on women’s reproductive cancers, while maintaining a strong emphasis on health and wellness programming as a Spirit of Women hospital.

The Hospital also embarked on a multi-year $150 million expansion effort in 2011 -- the largest building project in the organization’s history. The project includes a new patient tower with single rooms, an expanded Emergency Department, a new critical care unit, a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and additional parking.

For more information on Danbury Hospital or to find a doctor, call 1-800-516-3658 and visit