Surgeons offer minimally invasive hip surgery

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 11:00am

    For Janice Taft, the best part of her hip replacement surgery was a recovery so quick she could walk just hours after the operation. About 24 hours after those first steps, she was home.

    “It is kind of unbelievable,” Taft said. “Every day I am progressing more.”

    Taft’s recovery was much quicker than the average hip surgery patient’s because Lincoln Medical Partners Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Rifat  Zaidi, MD, used a minimally invasive technique called the anterior approach.

    Minimally invasive hip surgery allows surgeons to avoid cutting muscles and can result in a quicker recovery with less pain and a smaller chance of dislocation.

    But while the anterior approach does offer some advantages, it isn’t right for every patient. The two other types of approaches used in the hip replacement surgery are the posterior approach and the lateral approach. The posterior approach is the most commonly used technique in the United States, while the lateral approach is more widely used in Europe. Lincoln Medical Partners orthopaedics surgeons offer all three.

    Choosing which approach is right, just like determining whether surgery is the best way to treat a condition, should only happen after a patient understands all of the alternatives, said Dr. Zaidi.

    Janice, of St. George, chose Dr. Zaidi to perform the procedure on the recommendation of a friend who received a partial knee replacement from him. Janice also liked the way Dr. Zaidi explained all her options.

    “He let me make up my own mind. He let me make my own decision and I definitely feel like it was the right decision,” Taft said. “I have friends who were in rehabilitation for a month after (hip surgery).”

    Dr. Zaidi, who received his surgical training at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, said Lincoln Medical Partners orthopaedic surgeons focus on the needs of individual patients, often maintaining relationships with patients or even families over a span of decades and several different operations.

    While Lincoln Medical Partners Orthopaedics doesn’t offer every surgery, those it does provide give patients the same high quality outcomes they could receive at larger facilities.

    The anterior approach has been in the United States for decades but was used by only a handful of surgeons here as recently as ten years ago. As technology and new equipment has improved outcomes and made the procedure easier to perform, however, it is gaining in popularity.

    The procedure’s advantages and its growing record of success are the reason Dr. Zaidi studied the anterior approach in Miami and at Dartmouth Medical School over the past four years, training with surgeons and assisting on several surgeries before offering it at LincolnHealth in Damariscotta.

    LincolnHealth also invested in a new surgical table specifically designed for the operation and in real-time X-ray technology to allow surgeons to ensure the new hip is properly aligned.

    Keeping up to date is important, said Dr. Zaidi, because surgical techniques are always changing and patients in Lincoln County should have access to the latest advancements, once they have been proven.

    “We are not going to do anything experimental here. We only offer what has been time-tested and approved by people who are leaders in the field,” he said.

    For more information about the Lincoln Medical Partners Orthopaedics, please call 207-563-1040.