We had the pleasure of taking care of a man in his mid-50s who presented to us with debilitating pain in his left hip. He had undergone a prior successful right hip replacement a number of years of ago but was having increasing pain in the left hip. One of his passions in life was playing basketball and one of the primary goals of doing surgery was to get him back to this as quickly as possible. This particular patient sought to have his hip replaced through an anterior approach due to its muscle sparing nature and relatively quick functional recovery. After we mutually decided to proceed with an anterior total hip replacement, we utilized his pre-operative x-rays to develop a plan for surgery.
Our goal is to provide the safest and most effective surgical care for our patients. While much of the outcome depends on our surgical team, there are at least four important steps patients can take before surgery to improve the chances of achieving the best possible result. The importance of these steps has been repeatedly demonstrated by published research.
A recent study performed and published by Dr. Matsen Ko and her colleagues in a leading orthopedic journal, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, demonstrated the potential adverse effects that smoking can have on the outcome of elective joint replacement surgery.
We recently had the pleasure of seeing a patient back in the office 3 months after undergoing an anterior total hip arthroplasty for arthritis of the hip. The patient's pre-operative and post-operative x-rays are shown below. He is doing wonderfully and back to enjoying the things he loves, namely sailing.
At times total hip replacements are not done for osteoarthritis. We had a young patient recently who had sustained a right pelvic fracture in a motor vehicle accident. He was having excruciating pain in his hip. His pelvic fracture had healed great but he had lost the blood supply to his femoral head and had developed Avascular Necrosis. As the name implies, this means that due to loss of blood supply, the femoral head actually starts to die. As you know, our bones are alive and require a steady source of blood to allow bone turnover and nutrients. If this is lost, the bone will not be viable. This is extremely painful for the patient.