September 3rd, 2009
Less pain and faster recovery are two of the benefits available to hip replacement patients through a new procedure available at New London Hospital. Called anterior hip replacement, the procedure is a minimally invasive option for patients suffering with arthritis, hip pain, stiffness and limited hip movement.
Anterior hip replacement differs from traditional hip replacement in that the surgeon is able to approach the hip from the front instead of the side or back, explained surgeon Gary Jones, MD. A specialist with Concord Orthopaedics who practices at New London Hospital, Dr. Jones continued this approach eliminates the need to cut through muscle tissue which avoids permanent muscle damage.
The procedure is made possible by a new operating table specifically designed for hip surgeries. It allows for positioning of the leg so that the artificial component may be placed in ways not possible on a conventional surgical table.
After the administration of anesthesia, the patient is positioned to allow an incision at the front of the hip that follows the natural plane between the muscles. With x-rays ensuring correct position, size and fit, the replacement components are inserted. The surgery is usually completed within 90 minutes.
Additional benefits to this new approach include less pain medication, faster recovery, reduced dislocation risk, and little or no physical therapy. Patients remain in the hospital for one or two days. Post-surgery activities are not restricted and patients are instructed to use the hip and resume normal activity when comfortable.