Minimally Invasive Anterolateral Hip Replacement and the “24 Hour Total Hip” at Orthopaedic Associates of Portland
Minimally invasive anterolateral total hip replacement is a remarkable new procedure pioneered in Germany that is now being performed by a select few surgeons in the US. By using this approach hip replacement can be accomplished with a minimum of surgical trauma by working between muscle groups with a single small incision. No detachment or splitting of muscle is required. This results in less pain, short recovery without need for typical restrictions post op, and remarkably rapid return to function. Dr. George Babikian at OAP was the first surgeon in Maine and is currently one of three doctors in New England to perform this surgery. The procedure has near universal applicability, meaning that most all patients requiring hip replacement, regardless of age or body type, can benefit from this approach.
At OAP we have coined the term “24 Hour Hip” to describe our procedure. By utilizing the minimally invasive anterolateral technique and a sophisticated anesthesia protocol, patients typically are up walking without significant pain within hours of surgery, take a minimum of pain medicine in the post op period (often just Tylenol), and are home comfortably the day after surgery without typical hip restrictions or precautions. Using the anterolateral minimally invasive approach over 85 % of our patients have comfortably gone home the day after surgery, and several have been discharged the day of surgery. The speed at which our patients return to function has been equally impressive, with return to physical labor often within a month and to desk type work in one to two weeks. Because we are using traditional implants and are placing these accurately under direct vision with the aid of fluoroscopic guidance, we believe the long term results will match or exceed traditional hip replacement, without concern for undiscovered problems associated with newer unproven technologies.
Each year 200,000 individuals in the US have traditional hip replacement. The typical length of stay in hospital is 3 to 4 days with significant use of pain medicine, not infrequently with discharge being to a rehab hospital, not home. Typical restrictions limit weight bearing and bending, sitting and turning for 6 weeks to 3 months.
Since March 2006 Dr. Babikian has performed 116 minimally invasive anterolateral hip replacements with great success, minimizing the patients rehab time and effort while maximizing recovery. Doubters have said “there is no free lunch”, and while partially true, our results suggest we have been “paying too much for lunch” with the traditional hip replacement. Using true minimally invasive technique and minimizing soft tissue injury at surgery allows us to streamline the process for hip replacement patients that want to get back on their feet and back to living in the least possible time.