Innovative approach to getting patients back on their feet in double time

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A desire to provide hip replacement patients a less invasive surgical option led orthopaedic surgeon Mr Robert Wood to introduce an innovative surgical approach four years ago at Geelong Private Hospital.

The approach, developed in Belgium decades ago, focuses on a surgical incision made to the anterior of the hip as opposed to the traditional posterior or lateral method, resulting in smaller incisions.

Mr Wood has now employed the procedure to perform a bilateral hip replacement, which is possible as the patient lies flat on their back, unlike other approaches and usually has less blood loss.

“The bilateral hip via anterior approach provides the patient the opportunity to have both hips operated on within the one surgery,” said Mr Wood.

The innovative approach provides patients with reduced pain, resulting in a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery period, without the need to be readmitted for another surgery in the near future.

Mr Wood said patients were keen to undertake the surgery and get back to full fitness quickly.

“The associated connotation with hip replacements means that patients assume they are going to be out of action for a long period of time – not so. The bilateral anterior approach should have them quickly back on their feet, with only one surgery,” he said.

Bilateral patient, Mrs Legg said her surgery had been a great success.

“I’ve thrown my crutches away at day nine post my operation, I feel great and am looking forward to getting back to my fitness regime.

“The bilateral hip operation meant that I didn’t have to undergo two lots of surgery and two lots or rehabilitation. Mr Wood and the Geelong Private Hospital nursing and allied health teams certainly looked after me,” said Mrs Legg.

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