A surgeon in Northampton is offering quick-recovery hip operations based on a forgotten technique from the 1940s.
Simon West, a surgeon at BMI Three Shires Hospital, offers hip replacement patients the chance to have a MicroHip operation, where the front, rather than the back, of the body is opened up. It means no muscles or tendons are cut, making recovery far speedier.
Mr West said: “When hip replacements first started, in the 1940s, surgeons used the ‘anterior approach’ – they went into the hip through the front. Over time this technique was replaced by going in from the side or the back. However the MicroHip technique reverts to a front entry, because technology means we can now use a much smaller incision.”
Mr West is pioneering the operation in Northampton after travelling to Switzerland to study the man who invented the technique, Dr Markus Michel. Dr Michel was looking for a type of surgery that minimised permanent destruction of tissues, pain, rehabilitation time and loss of fine motor control. Mr West has so far performed two MicroHip operations, including that of Dennis Wilkinson, aged 62, from Yardley Hastings, who said: “I had my other hip done and the recovery was good but this time it is amazing. Obviously there is a bit of tenderness and bruising but on the whole my hip feels fantastic.”