Dr. Gary Matthys

People are busy. Finding time to recover from surgery is not at the top of anyone’s to-do list. But at RiverView Health, Dr. Gary Matthys is using minimally invasive orthopaedic procedures to cut that recovery time from months to weeks.

Raised on a farm near Harwood, ND, Dr. Matthys recently joined RiverView Health at Crookston’s Specialty Clinic. In his Fargo practice, Dr. Matthys performs surgery on patients of all ages with various orthopaedic conditions that affect hands and wrists, shoulders and elbows, hips and pelvis, knees, and ankles and feet; at RiverView he is the first surgeon to offer minimally invasive hip replacements using the Direct Anterior Approach (DAA).

A leader in joint replacement, Dr. Matthys helps patients suffering with arthritis pain return to a healthy, active lifestyle. Through a combination of personalized medicine and innovative surgical treatments, patients recover comfortably and quickly under his care. Patients are on their feet again the same day of surgery with his unique rapid recovery protocols, and back to their everyday lives in a fraction of the time it used to take to recover.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

There has been a general trend in all of orthopaedics to try to decrease recovery time and keep patients active. The clearest way to facilitate a speedy recovery in hip replacement is to create less trauma to the hip and surrounding soft tissues during surgery, according to Dr. Matthys. This is the basic principle behind minimally invasive surgery (MIS).

MIS for hip replacement can be performed using many different techniques. Dr. Matthys’ preferred method is the Direct Anterior Approach. The major benefit of the DAA over other techniques is that no muscles are violated, split, or taken off the bone. Rehabilitation is generally easier and quicker. After surgery, there are no restrictions in the position of the hip and there is no need for specialized seats or equipment. Dislocation risk is reduced because no muscles are cut from the bone. Leg length is more accurately controlled and the incision is small. It can be used for almost all patients requiring primary hip replacement, including patients with arthritis in both of their hips.

According to Dr. Matthys, the DAA is the most unique approach and is rarely used in the United States at this time. But since starting the DAA in 2002, Dr. Matthys has been involved in more than 4,500 hip replacements using this technique.

Back to Life More Quickly

Dylane Klatt, Crookston, is one of Dr. Matthys’ patients that went through the DAA for his hip replacement.

Due to severe arthritis pain in his left hip, Klatt had been having issues or about three years before going in to see Dr. Matthys. He tried cortisone shots in the ball of his hip to try to remedy the issue, but each shot only gave him relief for about a week.

Klatt went into the hospital on a Tuesday morning to have the DAA surgery and was released at noon that Thursday with a minimal incision and exercises to do at home. He did not require any physical therapy after his short hospital stay.

Twenty-one days later, Klatt was back at his job as a supervisor at Ferrellgas, and has been doing well ever since.

“I have absolutely no pain in my hip anymore,’’ he shared. “I do not have any restrictions on my movement. I feel 100 percent normal.’’

Dr. Matthys sees minimally invasive surgery as an exciting area of orthopaedics and says it has a promising future. But Dr. Matthys and patients like Dylane Klatt aren’t waiting for the future; for them, the future is now.

“My experience could not have gone better,’’ he shared. “Dr. Matthys is very good at what he does. I will definitely refer any of my friends to him if they are having the issues I had.’’