Hip replacement device helps to halve recovery time
Published: 3rd Mar 2012 12:56:49
More than 76,000 people get new hips in England and Wales every year but many face long recovery periods of painful rehabilitation. One surgeon - and his engineer brother - have come up with a unique method to improve this routine operation.
James Wootton, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital in Wales, is one of only a few surgeons to use a different technique to help patients get back on their feet and out of hospital as fast as possible.
The Direct Anterior Approach (DAA) technique means the replacement hip is fitted without cutting through muscle or tendons.
It is regarded as less invasive but it can pose a number of practical and cost problems in theatre which has discouraged many surgeons from adopting this technique.
"DAA surgery usually requires either a number of trained scrubbed assistants, sometimes trainee surgeons, or an expensive and cumbersome piece of equipment for manipulating and positioning the patients leg during the procedure," said Mr Wootton.
With this in mind Mr Wootton set his engineer brother Malcolm a challenge 12 months ago to design a device which helps to fit the new hip at a fraction of the cost of current products.
Using this device and this type of surgery my brother's average length of stay (for his patients) is roughly two days, so that is a potential saving of tens of thousands of bed days in hospital.”
Malcolm Wootton, a Derbyshire-based engineer, who spent years designing equipment for the motorcycle industry, came up with the device called a Flote table which could fit any standard operating theatre.
Over three years Mr Wootton has carried out more than 400 of these procedures. The Flote table has helped him refine his technique and halve the length of time his patients stay in hospital.
During surgery the patient lies on his or her back and the foot is secured in a lightweight boot attachment. This allows the technician to move the leg easily and repeatedly, flexing the hip to the correct position so the surgeon can properly and accurately fix the new hip using X-ray.
"I came at this with a completely blank page. My brother told me what he wanted the table to do, plus a few extras," said Malcolm Wootton.
"What we have come up with can be packed away in a flight case and put in the back of my car. Everyone we have shown it to has been impressed, which is unheard of in this business," he added.
"Using this device and this type of surgery my brother's average length of stay (for his patients) is roughly two days, so that is a potential saving of tens of thousands of bed days in hospital."
"It's the whole package of reducing patients' length of stay, reducing their post-operative requirements for physiotherapy, there's no home adaptations, there's very little occupational therapy required and when managers, anaesthetists and surgeons see this I think they are likely to adopt it."
Steve Cannon, the Royal College of Surgeon's spokesman on orthopaedics, said the biggest hurdle for the Wooton brothers was that so few surgeons use the DAA technique.
Mr Cannon said practical problems in theatre such as the extra manpower required and the cost of cumbersome equipment have been major barriers for surgeons in the past, even resulting in some abandoning the technique after they'd been trained to use it.
He said surgeons were more interested in the longevity of the implant and added there were still some question marks over the precision of the DAA technique.
But the Woottons believe that aspect is covered with the Flote table's carbon fibre components which enable Mr Wootton to use x-ray as a guide.
Pat Murtagh, an 83-year-old patient of Mr Wootton's, said he arrived for his surgery in tremendous pain, only able to shuffle a few feet with his arthritic hip using a zimmer frame.
"You can hear my hip cracking every few steps," he said. "It's very important to keep active and not just sit around in the house all day like I've been doing for the last 18 months, which is why I'm here."
The pensioner was seen again two hours after his operation, reporting his pain had dropped from 10 to a 2 on the pain scale and was up and walking on the ward later that day. He is now recovering well at home.
Eight weeks after his surgery Raymond Root, a 58-year-old painter and decorator, was able to hop on a leg he couldn't walk on before.
Mr Root, who suffered two years of pain which forced him to give up work, is now looking for a new job.
"Going from not being able to walk at all and being in so much pain that you just can't think, to nothing, it is just amazing," he said.
At 15:02:39 in SportNorth Ferriby manager Billy Heath has appealed to Gainsborough Trinity to act "professionally" in their Conference North decider against AFC Telford.
At 15:02:36 in HeadlinesRival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have announced a reconciliation deal after a meeting in the Gaza Strip.
At 14:58:30 in EnglandA body supporting NHS groups in the eastern region has warned it could cease to operate in its "current form".
At 14:53:58 in EnglandSteven Gerrard's cousin, who died in the Hillsborough disaster, would have been "very proud" of the England captain, his mother told an inquest.
At 14:52:57 in EnglandA list of the schools Ofsted has been sent in to inspect over an alleged plot by Muslim hard-liners to seize control of governing bodies has been published.
At 14:52:04 in ScotlandControversial plans to end the need for evidence in Scottish criminal trials to come from two sources have been delayed by the government.
At 14:48:29 in ScotlandThe oil and gas industry is worth about £35bn to the UK economy, according to a new study.
At 14:46:07 in WalesA benefits cheat who claimed to have a fear of open spaces has been jailed for a year at Merthyr Crown court after being caught working as a tour guide in South America.
At 14:44:41 in EnglandJurors in the indecent assault trial of publicist Max Clifford have been told they can return a majority verdict.
At 14:42:23 in HeadlinesFor centuries, gardeners have put shards of pottery - "crocks" - at the bottom of plant pots to increase drainage. But a new study has debunked the tradition, writes Tom de Castella.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Hip replacement device helps to halve recovery time [Online] (Updated 3rd Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1415454/Hip-replacement-device-helps-to-halve-recovery-time [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Jurors in the indecent assault trial of publicist Max Clifford have been told they can return a majority verdict.
A benefits cheat who claimed to have a fear of open spaces has been jailed for a year at Merthyr Crown court after being caught working as a tour guide in South America.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Controversial plans to end the need for evidence in Scottish criminal trials to come from two sources have been delayed by the government.
North Ferriby manager Billy Heath has appealed to Gainsborough Trinity to act "professionally" in their Conference North decider against AFC Telford.
Three people have appeared in court charged in connection with an incident at a loyalist protest camp in north Belfast.