Bilateral Total Hip Replacement at Holland Hospital is First in West Michigan
Holland Hospital recently became the first hospital in our region, and one of the few hospitals in the nation, to replace both hips in one surgery session. Each year, nearly 200,000 Americans living with debilitating hip pain find relief by undergoing hip replacement. Typically, if both hips need to be replaced patients undergo the surgery in two stages several months apart.
The single-session bilateral total hip replacement was performed on April 2, 2012, by orthopedic surgeon Derick Johnson, DO, of The Bone & Joint Center and Holland Hospital surgical staff. “Single-session bilateral hip replacements have been performed elsewhere in the country, but none that we are aware of in this area or perhaps even in Michigan,” Dr. Johnson says.
Dr. Johnson’s special training and experience with the anterior approach for total hip replacement make him uniquely qualified for the double procedure. With this approach, the hip joint is reached from the front (anterior) rather than the back or side. Because the patient lies on his or her back, both hips can be replaced at the same time, typically cutting total recovery time in half.
“A big benefit of the anterior approach is that instead of cutting or detaching muscle, we work through the natural separation between muscles,” explains Dr. Johnson. The result is a smaller incision, less pain and faster return to full function.
His first bilateral hip patient, 52-year-old Steven Schaner, of Grand Rapids, had begun experiencing joint pain in his legs about five years ago. His job requires a great deal of walking and lifting, and in his off hours he enjoyed fishing, waterskiing and bike riding. By last year, however, he described his pain level as “8 all the time, 10 by the end of the day.” Testing and consultation with Dr. Johnson confirmed that both hips had deteriorated to the point that bone was rubbing against bone.
“My quality of life was going down,” Schaner recalls. “When they explained that they use a new procedure that lets them go between the muscles instead of cutting, I said to myself, ‘Let’s do this now!’” Schaner recalls.
Recovering in the Joint Replacement Center after his three-hour surgery, Schaner was amazed at the immediate results. “When I woke up, the joint pain was gone in both hips,” he says. At his two-week follow-up appointment, he thanked Dr. Johnson for giving him “another chance to play hard again.”
“With the anterior approach, there are really no restrictions or limitations after the surgery,” Dr. Johnson says. “Steve should be able to return very quickly to all of his favorite activities.”