Todd Swanson, Las Vegas Orthopaedic surgeon and pioneer in minimally invasive total hip replacement, has worked with a team of surgeons and Smith & Nephew Orthopedics to design a new “mini-stem” total hip prosthesis specifically for the young, active patient. Currently, the new mini-stem prosthesis is being used only by the designing surgeons while it goes through an in-house quality assurance testing protocol before being released to the general orthopedic surgeon public.
“The new mini-stem total hip prosthesis is very exciting for young people needing hip replacement and works well with minimally invasive surgical techniques. To date, I have completed 17 surgeries, one in a 17 year old male with a ’slipped capital femoral epiphysis’ (a developmental disorder of the hip ball) that resulted in ‘chondrolysis’ (destruction of the hip joint cartilage) at a very young age. Therefore, he needed a total hip replacement and was an ideal candidate for the mini-stem prosthesis done through a minimally invasive surgical approach. He is doing very well with the newly designed prosthesis, along with the other patients who have received it,” says Dr. Todd Swanson
This stem was designed specifically for use in young patients who have their own set of special needs. The new design loads the upper part of the femur reducing “stress shielding” bone loss which typically develops after conventional total hip replacement, a problem which is even more detrimental to young patients with many years ahead of them. It also has a modular neck allowing much greater versatility in replicating the patient’s anatomy. Additionally, it allows easier insertion through minimally invasive surgical approaches which provide faster healing and less pain.
The new tapered geometry stem from Smith & Nephew is made of a lightweight, durable titanium alloy. It offers the surgeon and patient an improved bone conserving implant that is compatible with high demand femoral head bearing options (such as ceramic-ceramic, metal-metal, and highly crosslinked polyethylene). The hip stem is shorter than conventional hip stems which allows the stem to conserve more of the patient’s thigh bone (femur) than other prostheses on the market.
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Todd Swanson, Las Vegas (http://www.SwansonHipAndKnee.com), is the director of the Desert Orthopaedic Research Foundation and is one of the country’s leading minimally invasive Total Joint Replacement surgeons. Since 1997 he has performed over 3,000 minimally invasive total hip procedures and has traveled the world teaching this new technique to other surgeons. Research reports demonstrating these procedures and benefits are available at
Dr. Swanson is also the Director of the Desert Orthopaedic Center Adult Reconstruction Fellowship Program in Las Vegas.