Hip Replacement Goes Back To The Future

A back to the future approach to hip surgery has patients going home a lot faster.
The modified Smith-Peterson allows surgeons to reach the joint from the front of the hip as opposed to the side or back.
Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Michael McCormick says "It's done through a little incision right by the hip in the front --keeps from having the incision in the back where you have to sit on it.
But the biggest thing about it -- it avoids cutting any tendons, any muscles, any nerves so recovery is dramatic."
Surgeons also have a new tool to help get the thigh in line which helps reduce the risk of dislocation after surgery.
It's called a Hannah table.
Dr. McCormick describes it as "a specially designed fracture table with special instruments applied to it. It allows you to move the leg around like you need to. Allows you to put traction on the leg and to put it in positions where we can get to the cup side. But it also has a special elevator that when we go to do the thigh bone it allows us to elevate the thigh bone--something we've lacked in the past."
One of the biggest fears for patients is how long they'll be laid up.
Dr. McCormick says "a lot of them don't require therapy.
Some do, everyone is different, but a lot of them can just go and that's what we like.. It's really rewarding for me to see a patient a day after surgery to walk out of here no crutches, no walker.. It's just amazing."
Dr. McCormick adds for the surgeon it's a little more difficult than the standard approaches and it takes a little more time.. but it's definitely better for the patient.


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  • by Debbie Location: PCB, FL. on Feb 2, 2012 at 06:58 AM
    He also said I'd probably would have to have it done again in 10 yrs. So I had it done but it only lasted 7 yrs. I went back to Doctor Townley and he said it had gotten bone fragments in it and was infected. That was 1993, 19 yrs. ago. I haven't had it redone since. I get along pretty good, have some pain, very little, mostly when it's cold. I'm sure I'll need it done again someday as I'm only 56 now. Also I never had any physical therepy. The scar. it's about 9 in. long on the side and when I had the 2nd oper. done he cut it on top of the 1st one. Nice lookin if I don't say so myself.
    • reply
      by Brendan on Mar 30, 2012 at 10:10 PM in reply to Debbie
      Hi Debbie, I came across your reply. We're very similar. I had my hip replacement done in 92, I was 35. Its still going strong, I had a check up last year and the ortho said everything was still in place and looked good. I do get pain, but its more a nagging effect and the pain increases the longer I walk. My limit is probably about 2 miles now, 5 years ago I could've walked 5 or 6 miles with no problem. I do think more and more about the process of having it replaced. Also, I guess because I have favoured my artificial hip, the other one is showing advanced signs of wear and tear and will I feel will need to be replaced in 5-10 years. Have you done any research into the latest techniques for Hip revision surgery. (Replacing the Hip replacement)? Take care and good health.
  • by Debbie Location: PCB,FL. on Feb 2, 2012 at 06:44 AM
    When I was 14 my hip started bothering me so my parents took me to the ortho. doc. After exrays and examing me he said my hip was deteriorating and needed replacing, that was 1964. For 22 yrs. we could not find a doctor who would perform this operation, every doctor said I was to young and this operation has not been perfected they only did it for elderly people and it only lasted 10 yrs. then needed to be redone. It didn't bother me to much but eventually it got to the point where I couldn't tolerate it anymore. I couldn't do anything. The pain was so bad all I did was try to sit, which was even painfull, I just cried alot. Finally in 1986 (22 yrs. later) my uncle told me about a docter in port huron, michigan. My uncle said he heard he was a good doc. and to go see him. I did. It was Doctor Townley, he was the founder of the prostesthus that was going to be put in me. He had done this procedure around the world, and I was going to be the youngest person ever to have this done!
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