A New Way to Repair Worn Out Hips
Five months after a hip replacement, Kathryn Stoneking walked a 10K marathon surprising even her doctor, David Paul, DO. “I am the type of person if I set my mind to something I am going to do it,” said a determined Kathryn.
It was that determination that helped Kathryn through two hip replacements; although, she said they were as different as night and day.
Hip No. 1
Kathryn’s first hip replacement occurred in 2003 at the young age of 58. She remembers a terrible, grinding pain when she walked and feeling as if she might fall.
Dr. Paul replaced Kathryn’s hip using available technology that required an invasive approach of cutting muscles to access the hip joint. Kathryn remembers needing pain medication after surgery and not driving for six weeks. “It seemed like it took a long time before I felt I was right.”
Hip No. 2
Eight years later Kathryn’s left hip needed replaced, but this time Dr. Paul surprised her with something new, the ASI or Anterior Supine Intermuscular approach. ASI is a minimally invasive approach that lets surgeons go between muscles to access the hip joint. “This surgery permits the most rapid return to activity because you aren’t cutting muscle which is more painful,” explained Dr. Paul, with Orthopedic Surgeons, Inc.
Kathryn noticed a difference right after the surgery. She felt more aware during recovery and didn’t require pain medicine, a much different experience. “This time I didn’t have restrictions, unlike the first surgery, where I couldn’t bend more than 90 degrees or go up the stairs. They just told me, ‘If it hurts, don’t do it,’” Kathryn laughed.
Dr. Paul has seen the same results in other patients. “I have patients come in 13 days after surgery, and they don’t even need a cane,” he said proudly. “One patient returned to work on a factory line 10 days after surgery rather than the expected six to eight weeks with traditional hip surgery.”
From a physician perspective, there’s another advantage. It’s easier to ensure legs are the same length after surgery. Dr. Paul explained that an ASI patient lies on his or her back, which allows the surgeon to use X-ray technology to check the alignment. “With traditional surgery, the patient is positioned on his or her side, making it more challenging to obtain the proper positioning.”
Dr. Paul is so pleased with the progress of his ASI patients that he uses the newer technique on 99 percent of his patients. Kathryn was glad she was one of those patients.