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Less invasive hip replacement surgery at ETMC Henderson

A less invasive approach toward hip replacement surgery is now available in Rusk County at ETMC Henderson, offering patients shorter hospital stays and greatly reduced recovery periods.

Called the anterior approach for total hip replacement, the procedure allows orthopedic surgeons Dr. Roger Sessions and Dr. Todd Parrish to replace the hip joint by pushing muscle aside, rather than cutting it. This means that the important muscles for hip function, the gluteal muscles that attach to the pelvis and femur, are left undisturbed.

 "Patients who undergo this type of hip replacement surgery usually start moving and bearing weight on the hip the day after surgery or sooner, depending on the anesthesia used," Dr. Sessions said. "Most patients return home two to three days after surgery."

Because the patient's gluteal muscles aren't disturbed during surgery, the hip is more stable after surgery and there is a lower risk of dislocation. They are able to immediately bend their hip freely.

Performing the surgery requires positioning the patient on a special surgical table, which ETMC Henderson has purchased to allow for this enhancement in surgical services.

"We are very excited to bring this procedure to Rusk County, so that our patients can benefit from the faster recovery period it offers," said Mark Leitner, administrator of ETMC Henderson.

Most patients seeking hip replacement surgery are at least 50 years old and have had hip pain and stiffness for some time, Dr. Sessions said. They slowly develop arthritis in the hip from wear and tear over the years, a previous trauma to the hip or autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

"When the conservative measures to treat the pain and stiffness aren't working any more, this new procedure is an option," he said. "We want people to forget about the hip and get back to their lives and what they enjoy doing every day."

For more information about the procedure, please call the ETMC First Physicians orthopedic clinic in Henderson, 903-657-1411.