A hip replacement system recently approved by the FDA is helping surgeons find the best alignment for the prosthetics. The optimized position system, or OPS, starts weeks before surgery, with x-rays, CT scans, and 3D models.
Polio as a child left Barbara Abbott with legs of different lengths. But hip pain that flared up a few years ago has slowed this active 72-year-old. Even sitting to paint hurt.
“So I’m afraid at the point I might fall, because it’s like a hot pan, you have to drop it. When you step on it at that perfect angle, it’s just excruciating,” Abbott explained.
Before surgery with the OPS system, patients get x-rays of how the pelvis moves in three positions.
“Then, with the use of a CT scan of the pelvis, we can create this patient-specific block that exactly matches the bony morphology of the pelvis,” said Steven Barnett, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Hoag Orthopedic Institute.
Those images are used to make a hip analysis and a 3D model of Abbott’s hip. All this shows exactly where to put the socket and a guide block that’s aligned with a laser.
Dr. Barnett said, “When we actually put the implant in, we just match up our laser points so that we know we’ve repeated the exact angles that we planned for pre-operatively.”
The team takes x-rays during the procedure, too, to make sure everything lines up. Dr. Barnett says the OPS system adds a few minutes to the 45-minute surgery.
“Her arthritis pain will be gone this afternoon once the surgery is over, and she’ll be up walking,” Dr. Barnett shared.
“Since I’ll be walking right away, I hope to be right out here going as soon as I can and get back on my bike,” Abbott said.
And she can’t wait to keep up again with Dan, her husband of 52 years.
Less than a week after her surgery, Abbott is already walking her boardwalk and she has no pain. Dr. Barnett says this procedure can be used for anyone who needs a total hip replacement. More than 3,000 patients have had the procedure in Australia and Europe, where it was approved years ago.