New surgery for hip replacement: Less pain

February 6, 2014  23:42

For many people, hip replacement is a prolonged experience, Newsmax Health reports. The conventional method means spending weeks of painful recovery in rehab facilities, then returning home to a life with limited mobility. Now, a growing number of patients are enjoying a new lease on life thanks to a more sophisticated, newer hip surgery technique.

Conventional posterior hip replacement, the more common method of treating arthritic or diseased hips, involves entering the area through the side or near the buttocks and removing the damaged hip joint by cutting the gluteus maximus muscle off the bone. But anterior hip replacement is performed from the front (the area where the front pants pocket is located), separating the layers of muscles without damaging them.

“Patients bounce back about twice as fast, and their rehab is accelerated,” says Roy Davidovitch, M.D., assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine and director of the New York Hip Center at the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases.

After one to two days of recuperation in the hospital, patients are discharged back home to work with a nurse and physical therapist for a week or two. 

Anterior hip replacement does have its critics. Some surgeons say that the operation results in more blood loss and a greater risk of fractures. Patients may also suffer nerve damage resulting in numbness or tingling along the thigh. And posterior surgery may be a wiser option for certain patients, such as the very obese or individuals who have already had metal implants or hardware placed in the hip.

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