Like other types of orthopedic surgery, hip surgery has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last decade as improvements in both techniques and technology have resulted in surgeries that are less invasive and which result in less discomfort as well as a shorter recovery time.
All that is good news to patients, who reap the benefits of superior outcomes these techniques achieve. In this last part of our four-part series on hip problems, we’ll review just a few of today’s state-of-the-art surgical options to relieve hip pain and restore joint function.
First up – arthroscopy: The minimally-invasive approach
Although it was first used way back in the early 20th century to “see” inside a joint, arthroscopy has really come to the fore in recent years as a versatile technique.
It is used not just for diagnosing joint issues, but also for treating many types of joint damage, including labral tears, femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), joint infections, bone fragments and dysplasia (malformation or misalignment of the socket portion of the joint).
Arthroscopy performs under general anesthesia using traction to gently separate the joint components so special instruments can be inserted into the joint through very small incisions to make repairs.
The arthroscope is equipped with a camera so it can transmit real-time images to a monitor for viewing. Because it uses very small incisions, arthroscopic surgery is associated with very few complications and faster recovery times compared to procedures that use large incisions.
Anterior hip replacement: Faster recovery, less discomfort
One of the biggest advancements in joint replacement surgery is known as the anterior approach to hip replacement surgery. In this technique, the hip joint accesses from the front instead of the rear, or posterior.
Using a frontward approach enables the surgeon to move overlying muscles to one side in order to access the joint and replace it, rather than cutting through muscle tissue.
The result is less discomfort during recovery as well as a much faster recovery process. The anterior approach can apply in many cases where a posterior approach was once the only option.
It may sound like the stuff of science fiction. But before you picture Robbie the Robot in surgical scrubs, you should know that “assisted” is a big part of this technique. In fact, the surgeon still performs the surgical procedure, but robotic technology improves precision.
Using robot technology enables your surgeon to plan your surgery much more precisely and accurately. This results in fewer complications, faster recovery and less discomfort for many patients.
Improvements in traditional approaches
These three advances have significantly improved patient outcomes in addition to reducing complication rates and shortening recovery times; but what if your hip problem requires a traditional approach to surgery? No worries – even traditional hip surgeries benefit from advances in techniques.
It also benefits from improvements in joint components and post-surgical rehabilitation techniques. This means you can still enjoy better outcomes and a faster, more comfortable recovery.
At our practice, we use only the safest, most effective, most appropriate state-of-the-art surgical approaches. It is based on a complete and thorough evaluation of the joint to ensure every patient gets the best care.
Thanks for reading our four-part series on hip problems. To learn more about hip or knee issues, joint replacement procedures or other orthopedic issues, subscribe to our blog.
And if you’re experiencing hip pain, call our office today at (516) 735-4032 and schedule an evaluation. Learn about all your options for leading a more comfortable, more mobile, more enjoyable life.
(See Part 1 and part 2 and part 3)