Total hip replacement is one of the most successful operations in all of medicine when it comes to pain relief and return to activity. There are many different approaches that can be used to insert the prosthesis in an arthritic hip joint. An approach gaining increasing popularity is the direct superior approach – also called the SuperPATH. PATH is an acronym that stands for percutaneously assisted total hip. This approach has severe distinct potential advantages which include which are supporting its growing adoption among hip surgeons. These include:
- It is minimally invasive and requires perhaps the least disruption of the muscle and capsule of any of the hip approaches. While the direct anterior approach purports to be muscle-sparing, in fact, capsule and tendon tissue is often released off the back of the hip in order to gain proper exposure of the femur.
- The operation can be done without dislocating the hip joint. Other approaches require that the leg be put in extreme positions of either traction or rotation. This can stress the soft tissues around the joint and potentially lead to more pain and swelling.
- Preservation of the anterior, inferior and posterior capsular tissue renders the joint very stable immediately and lowers the risk of dislocation
- There is less blood loss with this approach compared to the anterior approach allowing patients to recover their energy faster
Studies have shown fewer complications such as intraoperative fractures using this direct superior approach and because of its muscle sparing nature, patients can immediately weight bear and progress their activities as tolerated.
This rapid recovery approach to surgery enables many patients to go home just hours after surgery. With the use of long-acting local anesthetics, postoperative pain can be minimized allowing patients recovery in the comfort of their home and avoiding the risks associated with a hospital stay.
Our joint replacement program leads New Hampshire in same-day joint replacement surgery. Using advanced surgical techniques, the best implants and modern anesthetic and pain management that is customized to each patient, we have successfully performed same day joint replacement surgeries on patients from their 40s to 80s! Hospital overnights are no longer necessary for many patients and experience has proven that this is not only safe but leads to higher levels of patient satisfaction.
Dr. Parsons is the only New Hampshire-based surgeon performing this novel technique which he learned directly from the surgeon who originally developed it. If you are considering total hip replacement surgery, you should strongly consider the SuperPATH approach.