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Loyola Offering New Approach to Hip-Replacement Surgery

Shorter Hospital Stay, Less Pain, Faster Recovery, Better Mobility

MAYWOOD, Ill. - The morning after undergoing a total hip replacement, Sean Toohey walked up half a flight of stairs at the hospital.

That afternoon, he progressed from a walker to crutches to a cane. And 15 days after his surgery, he returned to work, no longer hobbled by a severely arthritic hip that had been bone-on-bone.

"My brother, who has had both hips replaced, was very jealous of my outcome," Toohey said.

Toohey's surgeon, Dr. Harold Rees, used a new anterior approach technique that results in less pain, faster recovery and better mobility. Rees now uses the anterior approach in all primary hip-replacement surgeries, which he performs at Loyola’s main campus in Maywood and at Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park.

The surgery is performed through the front (anterior) of the hip, rather than the back (posterior). And rather than cutting through muscles and tendons, the surgeon goes between them to gain access to the hip joint. The anterior approach incision is only about 2½ inches long.

There's less pain during recovery because the muscles and tendons have not been cut and the patient does not sit on the incisions. And there's a lower risk of dislocating the new hip.

Most hip replacements still are done using other approaches, and many hospitals do not offer the anterior approach. But the anterior approach is becoming increasingly popular, and Rees predicts that within five to 10 years it will become the predominant technique.

The anterior approach is more technically demanding. But specially designed operating tables facilitate the technique. The tables enable surgeons to precisely control the position, angle, traction and rotation of the hip and leg. Loyola has two such tables, the PROfx® and hana®. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital also has a hana® table. 

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Media Relations

Jim Ritter
Media Relations
(708) 216-2445
jritter@lumc.edu
Anne Dillon
Media Relations
(708) 216-8232
adillon@lumc.edu