New equipment makes hip replacement easier for patients and surgeons

Before anterior hip replacement surgery, Naperville, Ill. resident Vicky Joseph was challenged every day to do things about which most people wouldn’t think twice.

“I was making decisions like, ‘do I really have the energy to stop at the grocery store today?’” says Joseph, 55 years old.  “The pain was critical toward the end.”

But Joseph, who had the procedure in June of 2011, had very little post-operative pain, slept in her second-story bedroom on her first night home and has returned to activities she used to enjoy years ago, including mountain climbing and cutting the grass.

“I totally forget that I have the prosthetic,” says Joseph, who sought a surgeon skilled in performing the anterior approach.  “I had seen both my parents go through this the old-fashioned way.  My recovery was much quicker than anyone I have known, because of my age and this new approach.”

With anterior hip replacement, patients benefit from a smaller incision (3–4 inches instead of 8–12 inches in traditional hip replacement surgery), which is made in the front of the hip and means there’s no need to detach muscles or tendons.  The result is less tissue damage and blood loss, less time in surgery, a shorter hospital stay, reduced pain after surgery and faster recovery time (2–4 weeks instead of 6 weeks to 3 months).

To assist in the anterior hip replacement procedure, Edward Hospital orthopedic surgeons are using the ARCH Table Extension, which helps rotate the leg and keep it in place, extend the hip and lower the foot toward the floor throughout the procedure.  Doctors at Edward also use the ARCH Table Extension for some hip fracture surgeries and hip arthroscopies.

“The extension holds the leg in the desired position and allows the surgeon to do the surgery more safely and efficiently,” says Andrew Kim, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Edward Hospital and M&M Orthopaedics.  “It also allows me to offer the anterior hip replacement option to a wider range of patients of varying sizes since an assistant doesn’t have to hold the leg.”

For patients like Joseph, who will likely need to have her other hip replaced in the future due to a genetic cartilage disorder, the anterior hip replacement procedure and Edward’s new ARCH Table Extension couldn’t have come at a better time.

“I am thrilled they have this new equipment,” says Joseph.  “Having the procedure has been life-altering.”

“Vicky had an amazingly quick recovery,” says Dr. Kim.  “Just two weeks after surgery, she walked into my office without a limp, doing everything as she had before and more.”

For more information about minimally invasive surgical options at Edward, visit www.edward.org/surgery.

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Edward Hospital & Health Services is a full-service, regional healthcare provider offering access to complex medical specialties and innovative programming. Edward Hospital has 309 private patient rooms and 4,400 employees, including 1,350 nurses and a medical staff of 1,000 physicians comprised of independent members of the medical staff, employed physicians and independent contractors. The physicians represent nearly 70 medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties with 98% board certified.

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