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New equipment makes hip replacement recovery faster, less painful

RUSSELL, Ky. — Ask those who have had the misfortune and they will tell you, hip replacement surgery is not for sissies.

But a new surgical table being used by a local orthopedic surgeon is allowing Ironton native Dr. Joseph Leith to better employ a newer surgical procedure that cuts the recovery time for hip replacement patients.

The new equipment is called the Hip And Knee Arthroplasty (HANA) Table. It allows the surgeon to stand over the patient’s hips and lower the leg or legs of the patient during surgery, giving the surgeon better access to the front of the hip. Accessing the hip from the front of the body, as opposed to the side or back, means muscle doesn’t have to be cut to replace the hip. In the direct anterior hip replacement, the muscles are pushed apart to allow access to the bones.

“It’s not a better hip replacement,” Leith said, noting the same parts used in the old-fashioned surgery are the same as he uses today with the new procedure. “But it is a faster recovery. It makes it (the surgery) a lot easier to do.”

Leith said 80 percent of his patients are candidates for the direct anterior hip replacement. Body weight and belly size are two factors that might preclude the use of it.

Leith said he began using the direct anterior method of hip replacement in 2008 but at that time did not have the HANA Table.

Both Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Russell, Ky., and King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Ky., have purchased the tables at a cost of approximately $100,000 each.

Leith pointed out that having the HANA Table at two area hospitals means those who need hip replacement do not have to leave the Tri-State to go to a larger city.

“The newest technology is available in the Tri-State,” Leith said.