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Anterior Hip Replacement available at Skagit Regional Health

Jan 8, 2019, 00:00 AM
Anterior approach hip procedure means faster recovery, quicker return to life's activities
Anterior Hip Team

Patients have a variety of options for hip replacement surgery at Skagit Regional Health where highly trained orthopedic surgeons help get patients back in action.

With advancements in surgical procedures and hip implants, joint replacement surgery is no longer reserved only for patients over 60 years old, and is found to be successful in younger patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 330,000 total hip replacements are performed annually in the United States.

The anterior hip replacement method brings several benefits: Faster recovery time, less time spent in the hospital after surgery, less potential for limping long term after surgery, and a quicker return to work and normal activities.

“Hip replacement is a great procedure. It’s one of the most efficacious procedures we have in medicine,” said Michael Picco, DO, who learned the anterior hip procedure and other replacement approaches in residency. “We’re solving a problem and it works, with a low complication rate and people have great outcomes. I want patients to stay healthy and keep exercising.”

The anterior approach means the surgeon comes in from the front of the hip and avoids cutting major muscles, instead, working between the muscles. This difference from the posterior and lateral methods, brings a faster recovery, reduces the hospital stay by one to two days post-surgery and allows a return to work in six weeks, rather than three months. In addition, the anterior approach dramatically reduces the possibility of hip dislocation after surgery and results in less limping.

“The long-term results are very similar among the approaches,” Dr. Picco said. “That said, if a patient is a good candidate for a direct anterior hip procedure, I would say go with that.”

Christopher Sheu, MD, who is fellowship trained in sports medicine and arthroscopy, is trained in all hip replacement approaches. Introduction of anterior hip replacements in 2017 completes the full continuum of orthopedic care at Skagit Regional Health. A key component to performing anterior hip replacements is the Hana® surgical table at Skagit Valley Hospital, which was funded by the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation.

“The Hana® table is a game changer for us,” Dr. Sheu said. “There is a pretty big buzz about this equipment. It allows us to perform the anterior approach and completes our program of comprehensive orthopedic care.”

The table is designed to allow hyperextension and rotation of the hip to allow access to the joint without detaching muscles, so the muscles do not need to heal after surgery. The table is also used for fracture care and trauma.

Dr. Sheu also has advanced training to use the Hana® table for outpatient hip arthroscopy, which may be an option for younger to middle-aged patients.

 “Hip scopes involve small incisions, they are minimally invasive, involve less pain and a faster recovery,” Dr. Sheu said. “We can clean out the joint and save the patient from having a more invasive procedure like hip replacement.”

For more information about orthopedics services, call 360-814-6800 in Mount Vernon and 360-435-6641 in Arlington.

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