Wabash College coach gets new hip; muscle-saving technique helped him recover quickly

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INDIANAPOLIS-- One of the state’s winningest college basketball coaches found himself in an OrthoIndy operating room in July.

Mac Petty, who once played high school basketball against former IU Coach Bob Knight,  underwent a total hip operation.

The surgeon who did the operation knew Petty’s background.

“He played athletics at a major Division 1 university back in his day, and had been a coach at my alma mater,” said Dr. Frank Kolisek.

Petty was Wabash College’s head basketball coach for 35 years and is now in his 13th season as the head golf coach.

Arthritis had crippled him, so Dr. Frank Kolisek suggested he get a new hip using a surgical technique which Dr. Kolisek had perfected: the direct superior approach. It spares muscle, decreases pain and has few if any side effects.

“We stay out of the area on the side, called the girdle. We stay up and all we do is split the gluteus maximus muscle, which is your big buttocks. We just split it with our finger,” says Dr. Kolisek. “We leave them intact and we don’t move the thigh bone out of the way.

"We just peel a small area back, sneak in, put the hip in, sneak back out, put the tissue back down and close the skin.”

Coach Petty was walking the day after the procedure, taking three pain pills a day. Now three weeks out, he told CBS4 he’s feeling good.

“I feel really good and I don’t have any pain in the hip at all,” said Petty. “I’d like to be able to get out on the golf course by September and my wife and I usually go to Hilton Head. I’d like to be ready to do that.”

Dr. Kolisek believes his muscle-sparing technique is worth sharing with other surgeons. He’s teaching it next week to doctors in California.

For more information on this kind of procedure, click here.

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