Anterior Hip Replacement Technique Has Patients Walking — and Talking
Marilyn Cicciu has had both of her hips replaced. The second surgery was done last November at Baptist Beaches, using the anterior approach technique used by Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute surgeons John Von Thron, MD and Dale Whitaker, MD.
“Each time before the surgery, I was in so much pain I could barely walk,” Marilyn said. “The first one, I spent five nights in the hospital and needed 10 days of extensive rehab.”
The surgery on her second hip, however, was performed by Dr. Von Thron at Baptist Beaches in November 2012 using the anterior approach — with very different results.
“The second time, I stayed the night after the surgery and then went home!” Marilyn said. “And I could walk right away, without a limp, whereas after the first hip replacement, they wouldn’t allow me to put pressure on it for six weeks.”
The approach to the hip from the front has been used for at least 10 years in the U.S., and has numerous benefits.
“We can see the exact position of all the components at the time of surgery,” explained Dr. Whitaker. “The patient is lying flat on a special table, so it’s easier to use X-ray. That means we can get a precise placement of the components.”
Dr. Von Thron added, “It’s less invasive surgery. The incisions are smaller and we’re able to perform the surgery with greater precision and safety.”
For Marilyn, the procedure improved her quality of life. “My hip replacement at Baptist eliminated my pain and, with the new technique, I was up and walking around immediately,” she said. “I’m just delighted.”