Hipper Hip Replacement - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/10/02

Hipper Hip Replacement

For those with hip problems, replacement surgery has been a last-resort treatment for decades. But a new way of performing the procedure is making recovery faster and easier.

Seventy-seven year-old Phil Hawley is in excellent shape, in spite of having hip replacement surgery just a few months ago. He tells Ivanhoe, "I walk two to three miles every morning. I just lead a totally normal life."

There's nothing unusual about Phil's artificial hip. But there is something special about the way it was implanted. Doctors used the so-called "anterior" approach, meaning they entered the hip from the front, as opposed to the rear or the side.

Orthopedic surgeon Joel Matta, M.D., of Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, tells Ivanhoe, "The anterior approach for hip replacement is the only surgical approach that I know of where it is unnecessary to detach any muscle from the bone."

The key to the surgery is a special operating table, which allows surgeons to access different angles of the hip by twisting a wheel connected to the patient's leg.

"Normally with hip replacement surgery the leg is free, it's part of the operating field. The surgeon manipulates it. In this case, the leg is controlled by a mechanical device, specifically the operating table," says Dr. Matta.

Phil's wife, Mary, underwent traditional hip surgery right before Phil's operation. He says the difference in their recovery time was remarkable.

Phil says, "I was [recovered], at the end of week two, where my wife was at the end of week seven or eight."

Not only is recovery time faster, but Dr. Matta says the technique reduces the chance of hip displacement after surgery.

So far, there are just a small handful of hospitals around the country that offer the anterior approach hip replacement. But Dr. Matta says the procedure is gaining in popularity.

Seventy-seven year-old Phil Hawley is in excellent shape, in spite of having hip replacement surgery just a few months ago. He tells Ivanhoe, "I walk two to three miles every morning. I just lead a totally normal life."

There's nothing unusual about Phil's artificial hip. But there is something special about the way it was implanted. Doctors used the so-called "anterior" approach, meaning they entered the hip from the front, as opposed to the rear or the side.

Orthopedic surgeon Joel Matta, M.D., of Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, tells Ivanhoe, "The anterior approach for hip replacement is the only surgical approach that I know of where it is unnecessary to detach any muscle from the bone."

The key to the surgery is a special operating table, which allows surgeons to access different angles of the hip by twisting a wheel connected to the patient's leg.

"Normally with hip replacement surgery the leg is free, it's part of the operating field. The surgeon manipulates it. In this case, the leg is controlled by a mechanical device, specifically the operating table," says Dr. Matta.

Phil's wife, Mary, underwent traditional hip surgery right before Phil's operation. He says the difference in their recovery time was remarkable.

Phil says, "I was [recovered], at the end of week two, where my wife was at the end of week seven or eight."

Not only is recovery time faster, but Dr. Matta says the technique reduces the chance of hip displacement after surgery.

So far, there are just a small handful of hospitals around the country that offer the anterior approach hip replacement. But Dr. Matta says the procedure is gaining in popularity.

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