New hip replacement procedure means less downtime

PHOENIX – Like a lot of body parts, hips wear out but getting a hip replacement is a little scary, because it takes so long to recover.

Now there is an alternative, a less invasive procedure getting some patients back on their feet in no time.

“In the work that I do, I really felt it was important for me to get back quickly,” Jack White said.

White was not going to let getting his left hip replaced put him on the disabled list. The 71-year-old is a personal trainer at the YMCA in Scottsdale. “Five days after surgery, I walked a mile and a half without a cane,” White said.

He experienced a speedy recovery due to a minimally-invasive procedure he had done two years ago called the anterior hip replacement.

“It allows patients to leave the hospital faster, where traditionally patients were staying in the hospital three to four days and now we have a large percent of our patients leaving even the next day,” Dr. Michael Domer said.

Domer is with Arizona Orthopaedic Associates. The procedure is done using a state-of-the-art operating table called the OSI-Pro-FX hip and knee arthroplasty. “With the table we can basically put the hip and leg in any position we want to,” Domer explains.

This positioning of the leg gives surgeons the ability to replace the hip through a single incision without detachment of muscle from the pelvis or femur.

“The traditional way of doing this hip surgery is either from the side, which is a lateral approach or from the back, which is a posterior approach,” Domer said. “Both of those procedures involve cutting muscles and doing some extensive detachments, which leads to prolonged hospital stays and prolonged patient recovery.”

With the anterior hip replacement most patients will not only see a faster recovery time, anywhere from two to eight weeks, but less pain and low risk of dislocation.

“It allows us to do it safer with small incisions and I personal like using the table because it allows me to get X-rays during the procedure, which allows me to ensure my components are positioned properly,” Domer said.

“After four weeks I was doing so well,” White said. “I was virtually pain-free and he [doctor] let me teach my aerobics class and I played 18 holes of golf.”

White is definitely still going strong today. He not only continues to keep his clients in shape, but he is still very active, which includes running six miles a week.

“In looking at the whole recovery thing, I was going at my pace,” White said. “I didn’t have any target date.”


Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President of Ortho Spine Partners and Partner for The De Angelis Group. He also serves as Co-Founder and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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