New technology improves hip replacement surgery - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New technology improves hip replacement surgery

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Every year more than 300-thousand Americans undergo hip replacement surgery.  While they've made it less invasive over the years, a new technology is helping surgeons personalize the surgery for the first time.

Climbing the stairs of his three-story walk up used to be 15 minutes of excruciating pain for Roderick Duhaney. "I was taking 30 Advil a day. My entire day was planned around how much Advil I could take," Duhaney said.

The actor and photographer suffered from chronic hip pain. "I couldn't squat to take a photograph," he said.

Duhaney was one of the first patients in the country to undergo an FDA approved hip replacement surgery called OPS, or Optimized Positioning System.
The "Every patient is different every patient moves differently," said Dr. Jonathan Vigdorchik with the NYU Langone Medical Center. He says the difference is in the details before surgery.  They take multiple x-rays not just of the hip, but also the spine. "We never thought it was important to the hip."

Reporter Meg Oliver:  How important is it?  

Dr. Jonathan Vigdorchik: Now we realize the spine really controls the way the hip moves, controls the way the hip replacement functions, and the hip controls how the spine functions.

Once they have the images, they create a 3-d model of the hip. "This is a 360 model of his exact bone," Dr. Vigdorchik said. The model shows him exactly where to focus. In the past they went in blind. "I've pretty much done the surgery before I've even started."

Duhaney had two hip operations. The second used the new approach. "If you took away the scar, if you took away my memory of the process, I wouldn't know anything happened," Duhaney said.

He says the recovery was also quicker, so he was back to work faster. 

The surgery has been performed in a handful of states including California, Texas and Rhode Island.  Now that it's FDA approved more hospitals will be able to offer it. 

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