Arizona Orthopaedic Associates at Gateway Answers Anterior Hip Replacement Questions
Phoenix, AZ, April 06, 2012 -- Hip replacements are on the rise in America, with the number of procedures almost doubling over the past 10 years. For the past several years, Arizona Orthopaedic Associates (AOA) has been meeting that demand with a muscle-sparing procedure, the anterior hip replacement, which greatly reduces pain and cuts recovery times by up to three months. Yet even after more than 1,200 surgeries, many people still arrive at AOA’s downtown Phoenix office with common misconceptions about the procedure. Arizona Orthopaedic Associates surgeon Dr. David Ott dispels the myths.
Safe joint replacement
The recall of DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.’s ASR XL Acetabular metal-on-metal hip replacement system made headlines in 2010. The failure rate of the joint was deemed high and DePuy recalled the product. Two years later, many patients still ask if hip replacements are safe. “It’s important to understand that this particular joint was the problem, not the hip replacement surgery itself,” Dr. Ott said. “We’re the leading provider of anterior hip replacements in Arizona. We introduced the technique and we use different joints than the ASR XL Acetabular metal-on-metal joint. Patients can rest assured that a hip replacement – any type of hip replacement – performed by AOA surgeons is safe.”
Dr. Ott said the anterior approach rarely requires a transfusion, so much so that AOA surgeons have discontinued requiring patients to donate blood for such surgeries because they found it unnecessary. The anterior approach uses a state-of-the-art operating table and intraoperative x-ray, which helps the Phoenix-based orthopedic surgeons group have patients walking the same day as surgery and returning to full mobility within 2-8 weeks, instead of the typical 2-4 months needed after traditional surgery.
Since no muscle is cut during the replacement procedure, a patient’s recovery time is significantly shorter. Yet some people have heard incorrectly that there is a danger of significant blood loss with the anterior approach. “Some people ask me if blood vessels can be nicked during the procedure,” Dr. Ott said. “That’s completely untrue. The blood vessels are very distant in the anterior approach. There’s less blood loss than a traditional hip replacement. We rarely transfuse our anterior hip patients and have for the most part eliminated self-donation of blood because it hasn’t been needed.”
Risk of major artery injury
Dr. Ott said still others believe there is an inherent danger in performing an anterior hip replacement; that major blood vessels can be damaged, leading to significant artery injury. “I know of no one who has had any major blood vessel injuries,” Dr. Ott said. “The femoral arteries are very distant and nowhere near the field of surgery. The femoral nerve is closer during the anterior approach but it’s not nearly as close as the sciatic in the traditional posterior approach.”
Still others have been told by their physicians that the risk of dislocation is as great, if not greater, with the anterior approach. The opposite is actually true. In fact, the orthopedic surgeons at AOA have experienced lower dislocation rates with the anterior approach. Since no muscles are cut during the procedure, there are fewer muscles to rehabilitate following the procedure. The OSI-Pro-FX, or HANA, table allows AOA surgeons to simply work through the natural interval between the muscles, leaving the most important muscles for hip function - the gluteal muscles that attach to the pelvis and femur - undisturbed, providing patients with the least invasive (and muscle sparing) procedure available and faster recovery time.
“The biggest danger with the anterior approach is that, for those who are not familiar with the technique, they can become lost,” Dr. Ott said. “For doctors who are familiar with the technique, it is remarkable procedure.”
Still, surgeons not familiar with the procedure are sometimes hesitant to recommend it, Dr. Ott said. That hesitancy, he said, comes more from a fear of the unknown than any hard scientific data. The anterior approach is a relatively new technique, learned after residency training and because of that, some doctors caution against it. “There’s a learning curve with a new procedure,” Dr. Ott said. “That doesn’t mean the surgery is inherently more dangerous, it just means some doctors are behind the curve. In fact, most medical advances occur this way. Often what was once a new innovation and thought to be risky or dangerous because it challenged the traditional technique, is now the standard of care.”
With its unique capability to position the leg, the OSI-Pro-FX, or HANA, table enables AOA physicians to replace the hip through a single incision, without detachment of muscle from the pelvis or femur. The OSI-Pro-FX, or HANA, table allows for a positioning option not possible with conventional tables and intraoperative x-ray ensures precise placement of the hip. The result is reduced pain, less muscle trauma, a lower risk of dislocation and a shorter hospital stay. For more information, please call (602) 631-3161 or visit www.aoa.md.
About Arizona Orthopaedic Associates at Gateway
Arizona Orthopaedic Associates at Gateway is committed to excellence by pledging to provide the highest quality of orthopedic care possible. Along with the treatment of immediate or chronic problems, top-rated and board-certified orthopedic surgeons strive to integrate the doctrine of prevention in all treatment plans as a way to alleviate possible future difficulties.
Arizona Orthopaedic Associates at Gateway is committed to excellence by pledging to provide the highest quality of orthopedic care possible
Arizona Orthopaedic Associates at Gateway
690 N. Cofco Center Ct
Phoenix, AZ 85008
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