Wear and tear can damage our joints as we age, resulting in the need for surgeries such as hip replacements. Whether it's due to a fall or severe pain, these types of procedures can greatly improve the quality of an individual's life. So was the story of Marilyn Bafus, a farm wife from the Inland Northwest area, according to The Spokesman-Review.1
A personal story
When Bafus began to experience severe hip pain, she was unable to partake in activities she loved – like horseback riding. So, she went to Dr. Jonathan Keeve, who recommended she undergo posterior hip replacement. He explained that the surgery would be less invasive, requiring a shorter recovery time that other options. Rather than cutting through the muscles, this approach works between the muscles. However, for some time, there has been some debate over whether or not this is the best method of treatment.
Bafus went ahead with the technique recommended by her surgeon after completing some of her own research. Following the procedure, Bafus set the goal to get back on horseback with the help of rehabilitation therapy. Within about 9 months, that goal was achieved. It was just some six months after this that she had the same surgery performed on her other hip. This time, it only took her a few months to get back to riding, pain free.
"It just kind of gave me my life back," she told The Spokesman-Review.
More about the posterior approach
Duke Health explains that there are several advantages to the posterior approach when it comes to hip replacement.2 Some of the reasons this option has gained popularity include:
- minimal instances of complications
- history of success
- less invasive than other options
- protection of the muscles
However, there is a potential risk that comes along with this method: dislocation. According to Duke Health, this has only been an issue in 1 percent to 2 percent of all hip replacements using the posterior approach. Additionally, this risk can easily be reduced by with precautions during the postoperative phase of recovery.
There are some things that medical professionals take into consideration before moving forward with hip replacement surgery.3 Since recovery requires pain management and anesthesia, doctors may look at:
- current health condition
- experience with anesthesia
- reaction to other medications
- potential risks
From there, depending on the preference of the surgical team, they will suggest the most appropriate type of reconstruction. As of late, the posterior approach has increased in popularity as more medical professionals become familiar with it and learn of its success. The minimal incision technique used in this method helped to reduce recovery time and lessen pain following surgery.
1 The Spokesman-Review, "A less invasive approach to hip surgery" November 19, 2013
2 Duke Health, "Posterior approach to total hip replacement surgery"
3 Maine Medical Center, "Posterior approach total hip replacement"