Local News

Mini-Hip Surgery Offers Quicker Recovery Time

Posted April 15, 2005

— The best kind of surgery is the kind that gets you back on your feet the easiest, which is what mini-hip replacements are all about. Researchers said the new hip joint is not any smaller, but the incisions are.

In her home salon, Eva Gentile stays on her feet all day. That is not a problem now, but it was before last year.

"I had back pain and I had pain down my leg," she said. "The whole leg was twisted. I just wore it out."

X-rays revealed an arthritic ball and socket joint. Gentile needed a new hip, but she could not imagine shutting down her salon for more than two months while she went through rehabilitation.

Dr. Brad Vaughn at Rex Hospital offered her a quicker option: mini-hip surgery.

"There's far less detachment of muscle from the top of the femur, which allows the recovery to be much quicker," Vaughn said.

In the standard procedure, the surgeon works through a long incision. With mini-hip, surgeons use X-ray imagery to guide small instruments through a 2-inch incision at the groin, and an 1½-inch incision to the side. Both procedures use the same titanium steel and chrome cobalt joint.

However, not everyone is a good candidate for mini-hip surgery.

"Because incisions are small, your candidates are typically goign to be those individuals that are closer to their ideal body weight," Vaughn said.

Vaughn stresses the standard hip procedure has a 50-year track record. Though recovery takes longer, the long term results are the same.


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