Hip Replacement Gets Update

1 decade 1 year 10 months ago Monday, September 17 2007 Sep 17, 2007 Monday, September 17, 2007 1:03:02 AM CDT September 17, 2007 in News

It's called hip resurfacing, and it's actually been around longer than the standard hip replacement surgery. But unlike total hip replacement, resurfacing consistently failed early on.

MU Orthopedic Surgeon Sonny Bal is currently pioneering a new method of hip resurfacing that gives patients a shorter recovery time, and there is reason to hope that the operation may even last longer than a replacement.

"In a hip replacement, all this portion of the bone would be cut off, but with hip resurfacing, a small pin is inserted covered by a cap, and that then fits into the socket. So the patient is allowed to keep all this portion of the bone," Bal said.

The new surgery is helping patients like soccer coach Dan Cosby get back on the field. Cosby was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in his hip, but at 53 years old, he was too young for a hip replacement.

"I was just limping around the field and not able to do any of the things I can do now," Cosby said.

The new method is much different than the traditional hip replacement. Instead of cutting the muscle at the back of the hip, Bal simply spreads apart the muscle at the front.

"When he went in, all he had to do was separate them out like pulling a couple of curtains apart," Cosby said.

The new method had Cosby back on his feet fast, and the long-term benefits mean he can continue coaching even longer.

"It's night and day. For the first time in four years, I can walk without pain," Cosby said.

Only six of the surgeries have been performed in Columbia so far, but Bal's new method is already the standard at University Hospital.

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