Tissue sparing hip surgery gets patients back on their feet sooner
January 28, 2010
San Antonio, TX - A new kind of hip replacement surgery is providing much-needed relief to patients with less pain and a shorter recovery time.
For 54-year-old Josephine Dallair, a simple vigorous walks feels like victory. For eight years, she had suffered with arthritis pain in her hip that impacted her every move.
"Lying on my back would cause this throbbing pain," she explained. "And then from there it went to getting up in the morning, just feeling achy. And then standing for long periods of time."
When she got her hip replacement in October, Dallair opted for a new technique called the tissue sparing anterior approach. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Adam Harris performed her operation at Methodist Stone Oak Hospital. He used a special table that positions and holds the leg precisely. He worked through one three-inch incision.
Unlike before, the surgeon does not have to detach or split muscles to get to the joint. "If you do not detach the muscles and you don't go through the muscles, just pull them aside gently, then you're not doing damage to the hip as you're doing the procedure," Harris said.
Since he doesn't have direct visualization of what he's doing, the surgeon uses x-ray throughout the three-hour procedure to make sure his implant is perfect. Most patients spend a night or two in the hospital and are off crutches or a walker in two weeks.
"It's very satisfying to see the patient do so well, and do so well so quickly," Harris stated. "And that's what medicine's all about."
"I can wear a heel and I can walk hard," Dallair said. "I can be at Home Depot all day or at the grocery store and no pain at all. To me, it's like a whole new me."
Harris has performed this tissue sparing surgery on about 200 patients over the past couple of years with great success.