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Hospital expands availability of minimally invasive hip replacement surgery

Anterior approach hip replacement - an alternative to conventional surgery - is now available at either Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) West or East, thanks to the recent addition of a second HANA Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Table.

"The hospital is committed to ensuring our community has access to this minimally invasive hip replacement surgery," said Spencer Schuenman, D.O., YRMC's director of orthopaedic surgical services. "In addition to the availability of a HANA table at both campuses, YRMC provides a comprehensive continuum of care for people undergoing anterior approach hip replacement."

That continuum of care begins with diagnosis from an YRMC orthopedic surgeon and is supported by a patient education program that starts before the patient undergoes the Anterior Approach procedure. After the surgery, patients participate in individually tailored therapy programs developed by YRMC's Physical Rehabilitation team.

"Anterior approach hip replacement has transformed conventional hip replacement," said Dr. Schuenman. "After anterior approach, most people feel better than they felt before the procedure."

Such positive outcomes are possible when combined with advanced equipment - the HANA table - and a superior surgical team. Dr. Schuenman has been performing Anterior approach procedures for approximately two years. He trained with Joel M. Mata, M.D., co-designer of the HANA table and originator of anterior approach hip replacement in North America.

During an anterior approach hip replacement, Dr. Schuenman accesses the patient's hip joint from the front (anterior) of the hip by moving the HANA table and then making a 3- to 4-inch incision. The HANA table uses X-ray imaging, which allows for controlled placement of the new hip - a challenge for surgeons doing conventional hip replacement surgery.

"The HANA table allows for perfect positioning of the hip for every patient," he said. "This is a reproducible outcome."

Because the anterior approach procedure doesn't disturb muscles essential to hip function - like conventional hip replacement - patients are walking within hours of the procedure and return quickly to their normal activities.

When compared to conventional hip replacement surgery, anterior approach hip replacement features:

• Less muscle trauma (conventional hip surgery requires the surgeon to detach muscle from the pelvis or femur)

• Reduced hospitalization

• Smaller incision (3 to 4 inches compared to 10 to 12 inches with conventional hip replacement)

• Less blood loss (particularly when combined with YRMC's Patient Blood Management strategies)

• Reduced pain

• Faster recovery (a total of two to eight weeks compared to two to four months with conventional hip replacement)

• No post-operative restrictions and less concern about dislocation

"YRMC's orthopaedic program is recognized as among the top nationwide by leading quality assessment organizations," Dr. Schuenman said. "For hip replacements, YRMC is one of 34 hospitals from among nearly 700 to receive the highest score from a well-respected consumer rating organization. When I see this kind of recognition, it makes me even more proud to work with such an excellent team of surgeons, physicians, nurses, surgical technicians and therapists."

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