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Minimally Invasive Hip Surgery

From the Summer 2008 issue of StayHealthy Magazine

Georgiana Appel waited to have hip replacement surgery until Porter’s new surgical table designed especially for the procedure was delivered. In April, Mrs. Appel, who suffers from severe arthritis of the hip, became one of the first patients to have minimally invasive, anterior, muscle-sparing hip surgery performed at the health system.

“When the pain in my leg became severe in March, I talked to Dr. (Michael) Leland about moving up the date of my surgery,” she says. “As a nurse at Porter, I knew the OSI Pro-FX surgical table was on its way. I also knew the benefits of having the surgery done from the front of the hip rather than the back and decided to wait. I’m really glad I did.”

Mrs. Appel says she was uncomfortable but not in a great deal of pain in the hours immediately following the procedure. Within two days, she says she was already feeling better and without the pain that had dominated her life for two years.

What made Mrs. Appel’s surgery different than most other hip replacement surgeries was the surgical position made possible because of Porter’s new OSI surgical table. Porter is the first health system in Northwest Indiana to acquire the specially designed table, which allows orthopedic surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery, accessing the hip from the front, without cutting muscle.

Nearly three months after doing his first minimally invasive hip surgery at Porter, Dr. Leland says the outcomes are every bit as good as he thought they would be.

“The post-operative recovery has been amazing,” he says. “People who would have ben in the hospital for three days following a traditional hip replacement surgery and then gone to a nursing home are going home in one to two days. I’ve had patients asking me on the day of surgery if they can go home: They feel that good.”

Dr. Leland says without the OSI surgical table, the anterior minimally invasive hip surgery would be much more difficult for doctors and patients.

“There was a big commitment by Porter to purchase this specialty table that makes this surgery possible. We are able to perform surgery with greater accuracy and in less operative time than ever before,” he says. “A huge advantage of the OSI surgical table is the C-arm fluoroscopy, which assures precise placement of the implants. What this means is that we can duplicate the leg length for patients.”

When patients do go home, Dr. Leland says they are able to perform daily tasks they never could have when a traditional hip replacement surgery was performed.

“These patients can go home and start going up and down stairs. They can bend down to tie their shoes. They can begin performing the daily tasks of living,” he says. “With this minimally invasive hip surgery, patients simply don’t have the restrictions associated with other surgical approaches. That is important to patients so they can begin to feel like a well person again.”

Porter Director of Surgery Tanya Toth, RN, says the OSI table has a multitude of uses both in orthopedic and cardiovascular surgery.

“One of the areas we looked at when we chose the OSI table was its ability to be used in a variety of settings,” she says. “This table is highly adaptable to several complex hip and pelvic procedures as well as to cardiovascular surgeries.”

As for Mrs. Appel, two months post-surgery, the Chesterton wife and mother says she is already looking forward to taking salsa dance lessons to keep her hips moving and in the best shape possible.

“I have no muscle pain. I can walk better than I have for a really long time,: she says. “I am able to drive again and am looking forward to doing all of the things I wasn’t able to do before.”

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