Hip Replacement Surgery: The Alternative Method


You’d never know it but about a year ago Karen McKinzie had hip replacement surgery on her right hip. She’d been in pain for about ten years.

“At my children’s urging I had an x-ray that showed that I had osteoarthritis,” Karen recalled. “No amount of herbal supplements was going to make it go away.”

Karen was told about doctor Steven Sanders at Baylor-Irving who uses a technique called the anterior hip replacement procedure. Dr. Sanders said entering through the back of the hip requires muscles and tendons to be cut to put the new hip in place.

Not so with the alternative anterior procedure.

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“When we do that technique these muscles kind of lay over the hip,” Dr. Sanders explained. “All we have to do is separate the muscles and divide it and we have a clear window to the hip.”

Dr. Sanders said the procedure also allows him to use x-ray technology to create a better fit.

“That allows me to be sure that the implants are positioned and placed properly, that they are exact, that they leg lengths are each the same,” Dr. Sanders said.

That’s important—especially for people like Karen who used to be a cheerleader, play basketball and ski.

She said the decision was easy.

“No brainer,” Karen said. “I went online and I saw an animation of the procedure so I understood what it was going to be like. But the idea of not having muscles cut seemed important to me, in terms of recovery time.”

And she was right. Dr. Sanders said patients who choose the other method can spend up to six weeks in a walker while the anterior procedure reduces recovery time, pain medication and physical therapy.

Karen used a cane for about a week.

“I walked the first day and walked every day and after probably ten to fifteen days I was going up and down stairs,” Karen said. “Several months later I was dancing at my nieces wedding.”

A year ago Karen was always in pain, she couldn’t sleep and a simple trip to the grocery story was exhausting but not anymore. In fact she’s already finished a 5K walk with her daughters.

“I never thought I would feel this good again,” Karen said. “I thought I was stuck in pain and this is a new lease on life. It is so much fun to get going again.”


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