New Surgical Approach Allows for Outpatient Total Hip Replacement

Muir Orthopaedic Specialists cut costs and recovery time in half for patients


WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (August 21, 2012)— A new surgical approach offered in California at a Contra Costa County medical practice now allows for total hip replacement on an outpatient basis, requiring only a 23 hour stay, cutting recovery time in half and potentially saving thousands of dollars per patient.

Until recently, total-hip-replacement patients had little choice but to tolerate hospital stays from three to ten days and a physical recovery period that could take up to six months, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

In contrast, ten patients of Dr. Louay Toma of Muir Orthopaedic Specialists, based in Walnut Creek, have undergone a new surgical approach known as anterior total hip replacement and returned home the next day.  The anterior, or front side, surgical approach allows the hip replacement to be done without cutting any muscle.

“I had surgery on a Tuesday and was back to work on Monday, says James Murchison, 63, of San Leandro, who suffered for nearly five years before undergoing the procedure.

“Within two weeks I was doing everything I would normally do, but without pain. My recovery was faster than I expected, and now I am enjoying my first pain-free games of golf in years.”

Traditional methods approach the hip from the posterior, or backside, cutting through extensive muscle. The average cost for a patient without health insurance can range from $60,000 to upwards of $100,000.

A total hip replacement at a surgery center can cost as little as one-half as much. Final costs to the patient will vary depending on the patient’s insurance policy coverage.

"In a time when controlling healthcare costs is of paramount importance, a total hip replacement with only one night in the surgery center is considerable progress," said Dr. Toma, one of only a handful of surgeons in California performing the procedure.

All these advancements translate to significant cost savings and recovery benefits to the patient. With time, the anterior surgical procedure will replace traditional methods.

Total hip replacements have doubled in the past 14 years, according to statistical data provided by the AAOS. Experts predict demand will continue to grow.

Not all patients are eligible for outpatient total hip replacement. Candidates must be under the age of 65, have a body mass index of 35 or under, be in general good health and have few health concerns. They must also meet specific anesthesia requirements and have strong family support.

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About Muir Orthopaedic Specialists

A regionally recognized orthopedic practice located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Muir Orthopaedic Specialists is comprised of an expert team of physicians and providers with a variety of specialty focuses. Using state-of-the-art techniques in orthopedic medicine, Muir Orthopaedic Specialists restores mobility in musculoskeletal injuries, treating the foot, ankle, knee, hip, spine, shoulder, elbow and hand. Muir Orthopaedic Specialists facilities are located east of San Francisco in Walnut Creek (two locations), Brentwood, San Ramon and Concord. For more information, please visit www.muirortho.com.

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