“Ongoing advances in the various types of hip procedures are resulting in better outcomes, less pain, shortened hospital stays and recovery time, and less risk of post-operative complications,” says Jason Weisstein, MD, MPH, FACS, Director, Joint Replacement Surgery. “Hip replacements are lasting longer due to innovations and improvements in the types of materials used.”
The most common type of surgical approach for hip replacement is the posterior method in which the surgeon accesses the hip joint through the buttocks. Another method is the anterior approach, also known as a muscle-sparing method, which approaches the hip from the front.
Eisenhower is one of a limited number of hospitals with orthopedic surgeons trained in the complex anterior surgery. Additionally, Eisenhower is one of only a few hospitals equipped with a special table — the hana® Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Table — used by some surgeons in this type of surgery. Joint replacement surgeon John DeSantis, DO, who has more than 20 years of surgical experience, exclusively uses the direct anterior or anterolateral approach for hip surgeries.
“While we do perform the anterior approach with and without the hana table, it is not appropriate for every patient,” notes Dr. Weisstein. “Moreover, the jury is still out on some of the purported benefits over the other surgical approaches. I can’t stress enough how important it is for patients to choose a surgeon based on training and expertise, rather than a particular surgical approach.”
Dr. Weisstein explains that, “All surgical options have pros and cons, so it is important that the surgeon and patient together consider all of the facts before deciding on the most suitable approach for each individual.”
Matthew Diltz, MD, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, echoes these sentiments, saying, “It is important to sit down with the patient and determine their goals, and then use the resources available to achieve an optimal result.”
According to Dr. Diltz, hip arthroscopy is one of the fastest growing fields in nonarthritic orthopedics. The procedure is performed through small incisions using a tiny video camera to view the inside of a joint and guide them in performing the corrective procedure. Hip arthroscopy can effectively treat hip impingement, torn labrum, loose bodies (broken cartilage floating unattached in the joint), and tendonitis.
“This is such an exciting field because new improvements of techniques are being made all the time,” says Dr. DeSantis. “There is nothing as rewarding as having patients express how much better they feel and how much more active they are after the surgery.”