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A hip new life

For her hip replacement, Kay Schmidt underwent a new method called SUPERPATH, which had her up walking the same day.

Kay Schmidt has always been active. For 40 years she has run a daycare and she walks two miles daily with her husband and dogs. Last fall when she started having hip pain, Schmidt figured she had tweaked something, but by time the Super Bowl came around she could hardly get up the stairs at her friend's party.

"Every step it would hurt. I couldn't even lift my foot from the gas to the brake," said Schmidt.

She went to her regular doctor, who ordered x-rays. It turned out Schmidt had arthritis. Schmidt said she tried cortisone shots but the treatment didn't provide much relief.

Schmidt worried about her quality of life, so she asked her doctor for a referral to an orthopedist. She was referred to Dr. Dean Olsen at St. Francis Hospital in Shakopee.

Olsen specializes in the SUPERPATH hip replacement technique. The technique by Wright Medical, is a method in which the implant is built inside the body.

Olsen said the hip is not dislocated or twisted into unnatural positions during surgery, which is a common element to other hip procedures. Additionally, Olsen said the method doesn't damage any of the muscles or tendons, meaning recovery is quicker.

"People can typically go back to normal pretty quickly," said Olsen.

For Schmidt that would be true. Schmidt had her surgery June 22 and was up walking later that day. She came home with a walker but used it sparingly.

Just three months post-surgery, Schmidt is back to walking two miles a day and playing with her grandkids.

"It's only been three months but it's been a great three months," said Schmidt.

The method was just officially released, although Olsen has been performing the procedure for several years. Olsen is one of only seven doctors in the country who perform the SUPERPATH method currently. The next closest is in Milwaukee.

"It's one of the most important additions to my practice," said Olsen.

As in all surgery, Olsen said there are risks. He said the SUPERPATH procedure takes a little longer than the traditional hip replacement surgery and the blood loss is about the same.

Because it is a newer technique, Olsen said they do not have data on long term results.

Olsen said he hopes the less invasive technique will become more common place as more surgeons learn about it.

For more information on the technique visit

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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