New Technology Assists Anterior Hip Replacement

Drs. Kareem Sobky and Mark Tuttle are using an innovative surgical assist technology, HipGrid, to aid in the precision of placement of an artificial hip during a anterior hip replacement surgery.

About Total Hip Replacement

Total hip replacement has become a very common procedure, performed almost 1 million times per year across the world in a typical year.  In the United States, technological advancements and related equipment improvements have made THR a fast-growing and highly popular elective surgery with excellent long-term clinical outcomes.  Generally, most people who undergo THR surgery can expect the surgery to deliver 20 years or more of joint restoration.

Many surgeons who perform THR use a specific type of surgical technique called the Direct Anterior Approach.  In the Direct Anterior Approach THR procedure, the physician makes a single skin incision on the front of the hip and removes the diseased tissue and inserts replacement implant components made of advanced metal and plastic.  By accessing the hip through the Direct Anterior Approach, the surgeon is in theory able to preserve muscle integrity and potentially minimize the risks of certain complications.  The Direct Anterior Approach also enables the surgeon to uniquely utilize X-Ray imagery in order to "see" the hip during the course of the surgery.  

X-Rays & C-Arm Technology

X-Ray pictures can provide the doctor with an immediate view of the hip and its surrounding structures, which is important for allowing the surgeon to “see” the instruments and implants used to complete the THR procedure.  Surgeons will often order many X-Rays during a THR procedure, often 10 or more pictures, because these images offer tremendous value in helping the doctor see inside the hip all the structures that are not visible to the naked eye.  

X-Ray pictures for THR are generally captured with a specific type of mobile X-Ray machine on wheels called a Fluoroscopic C-Arm.  The Fluoroscopic C-Arm machine is rolled into the operating room for the procedure and a C-Arm technologist moves and positions the equipment under orders from the doctor.  The C-Arm is extremely valuable to the doctor and helps provide greater assurance that the THR will function as expected for the patient. 

Despite its many advantages, there is one drawback associated with the Fluoroscopic C-Arm and it is called Distortion. Fluoroscopic X-Ray pictures taken with a C-Arm can be affected by magnetic fields, gravity, and other factors that cause the images to be distorted, like the effect seen in a circus funhouse mirror.  But, where the distortion is and how much it affects the picture cannot be predicted and furthermore often cannot be detected by the doctor or the C-Arm technologist.

HipGrid® Technology

Until recently, there has been no technical solution for the frustration and imprecision of distorted fluoroscopic C-Arm pictures.  However, today there is an innovative, patented medical technology developed by OrthoGrid Systems, Inc., that reveals fluoroscopic X-Ray picture distortion for the doctor during the procedure.  By revealing the distortion, OrthoGrid’s HipGrid® technology enables the doctor to “see” the X-Ray picture differently and make surgical decisions on the basis of this augmented picture.  OrthoGrid’s HipGrid® does not require any additional operating time or special instrumentation. Many leading physicians across the United States rely on the HipGrid® for their THR patients. 

The OrthoGrid HipGrid allows the surgeon to more effectively align the hip replacement implant and obtain much more precise leg lengths and offset to the artificial hip.

Drs. Kareem Sobky and Mark Tuttle are well known for embracing innovative technologies that hold promise for improving clinical outcomes, reducing surgery time, and avoiding complications. Drs. Tuttle and Sobky are enthusiastic about the clinical promise of the HipGrid® device and its positive contribution to patients’ outcomes.  Learn more about HipGrid® and more about hip replacement.