Molly Cherian MD – Anterior Approach Hip Replacement Success Story

When an overseas trip resulted in a fractured hip, Molly Cherian, MD, trusted a referral to Methodist Dallas

Molly Cherian, anterior approach hip replacement success story at Methodist Dallas Medical Center

Molly and Samuel Cherian, both retired physicians, devoted 10 years of their retirements to medical mission work. However, when Dr. Molly Cherian broke her hip, it was their turn to be served rather than do the serving. She is so grateful for the care she received from Methodist Dallas and the success of her anterior approach hip replacement.

Molly Cherian, MD, was thrilled to be back in England, visiting two of her daughters. She and her husband had practiced medicine there for 20 years but had moved to Carrollton in 2000.

“The evening of Oct. 3, my daughter and her husband were out and we were putting the children to bed,” Dr. Cherian, 77, recalls. “As I was coming down the narrow stairs, I missed one step and fell down five or six to the floor.”

The result was a broken hip socket, which is not your normal hip fracture. Because this bone has to heal naturally, Dr. Cherian had a four-month-long healing process, including a month of traction, to endure before she could return home to the United States for a hip replacement. And even then, X-rays revealed that the bone hadn’t healed properly.

Her husband, a retired orthopedic surgeon himself, had called acquaintances back in Texas, hoping they could find a surgeon to do her hip replacement in the Dallas–Fort Worth area. One of those contacts was longtime friend Charles Tandy, MD, a veteran physician at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. He recommended Phil Berry, MD, as one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the field.

A godsend in Dr. Berry

Dr. Berry, who also practices at Methodist Dallas, did not disappoint the Cherians. Through emailed X-rays and medical information, he determined that Dr. Cherian’s fracture had resulted in one leg being shorter than the other. Both a bone graft and hip replacement would be needed. But Dr. Berry could offer Dr. Cherian something many doctors cannot: the anterior approach hip replacement, a procedure he’s performed more than 800 times in the past eight years.

“People do their research, and they come from all over to have this procedure done,” Dr. Berry says. “The anterior approach, which means we enter the hip from the front of the joint, offers much faster rehabilitation because we can go between muscle layers instead of having to cut muscle. Patients can actually start walking the same day as the surgery and usually head home — not to rehab, but home — the following afternoon.”

Dr. Berry says while patients with other hip surgeries have just as good outcomes, patients who have the anterior approach have a much shorter recovery — three weeks as opposed to three months.

“If I had mine done, this is the way I’d want to have it done,” he says.

Ready for life after recovery

Dr. Cherian received her new hip in February 2013. She was more than ready to travel to India this past winter and now looks forward to more trips to see her grandchildren.

“I’m so grateful for the help we received at Methodist Dallas,” she says.

From the spring 2014 edition of Shine magazine.