Parkland Medical Center September 05, 2012

More than 175,000 hip replacements are performed in the US each year, and these numbers are on the rise. One cause of this growing trend is the lifestyle of baby boomers who are living longer and want joints that allow them to continue to lead active lifestyles. Surprisingly,even younger people, in their fifties and even forties or sometimes require hip replacement because they have developed severe arthritis.
The direct anterior approach to hip replacements is now available at Parkland Medical Center. This minimally-invasive technique offers patients several advantages over traditional hip replacement: it allows the surgeon to spare muscles and tendons rather than cut them to gain access to the hip joint. Following surgery, patients may be immediately allowed to move their hips and potentially avoid hip precautions. The use of the direct anterior approach results  in reduced tissue damage and therefore faster recovery and a shorter hospital stay.
Parkland Medical Centerr has invested in a special surgical table specifically for this type of procedure, which helps rotate the leg, extend the hip and lower the foot toward the floor during the procedure, to allow the surgeon to safely insert the new hip.
In comparison, the traditional posterior hip replacement cuts through the muscle and tendons to reach the hip joint. After surgery, patients are required to take special precautions to prevent dislocation of the prosthesis, such as not crossing legs, not bending hips more than a right angle, not turning feet excessively inward or outward and using a pillow between the legs at night when sleeping. These hip precautions are usually not required after an anterior surgical approach.
“This is a great example of the advanced procedures and technology available right here in Derry,” said Tina Legere, CEO. “Parkland’s exceptionally-trained surgical team, some of the state’s leading orthopedic surgeons and the latest technology makes leaving town to have a hip replacement unnecessary” said Legere.
“My patients have been delighted to find that hip replacement surgery not only relieves their pain but also allows them to regain their mobility,” stated Kathleen A. Hogan, MD, a fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement. “Most people are surprised by how quickly they recover.”
Hip replacement, no matter how minimally invasive, is major surgery. Recovery success depends on several factors such as surgeon training and experience, and the patient’s health and commitment to post-operative physical therapy. Although the direct anterior approach may make sense for some patients, only your surgeon can help you decide what is best for you.

For more information on this procedure or a referral to an orthopedic surgeons who perform this procedure, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at 877-642-2362.