Thursday, November 1, 2012

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. 

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.