Dr. Berger has revolutionized hip replacement surgery by developing his minimally invasive method of replacing these invaluable joints. As a result of Dr. Berger’s surgical method his patients experience greatly reduced pain and dramatically reduced recovery time compared with patients undergoing traditional hip replacement surgery. In fact most of Dr. Berger’s patients are able to leave the hospital the same day of their joint replacement surgery.
Dr. Berger uses his new direct anterior approach that allows him to replace the hip joint without cutting patient’s muscles, ligaments or tendons. Dr. Berger’s direct anterior approach is unique because he is able to perform this surgery without dislocating the hip or tearing the muscles surrounding the joint, which is common in most direct approach hip replacement surgery. This is all possible because Dr. Berger has developed surgical tools that enable him to maneuver around a patient’s muscles and tendons through a small incision.
During hip surgery, Dr. Berger creates a small, 3- to 4-inch incision along the side of the hip to reveal the hip joint. To prepare the patient’s body to receive the prosthesis, Dr. Berger first removes the arthritic femoral head of the patient’s thigh bone without dislocating the patient’s joint. With the femoral head removed, he is able to prepare the acetabulum—the socket part of the joint. Using a special sanding tool, he carefully smoothes the socket surface. He then prepares the thighbone by partially reaming the bone. This creates space for the femoral component of the prosthesis.
With the patient’s joint space now prepared to receive the prosthesis, Dr. Berger inserts the acetabular shell into the prepared hip socket. This piece of the prosthesis is made of metal and has a rough, articulated outside surface that encourages the bone to grow and attach to the shell, securing it to the hip. Dr. Berger lines the acetabular shell with a polyethylene liner that acts as cartilage and facilitates smooth and fluid movement. He then inserts the hip implant into the femur. The femur also has an articulated surface that helps the bone attach to the implant.
Once the prosthesis is securely in place, Dr. Berger manipulates the patient’s joint to ensure that the prosthesis allows for full range of motion. He finishes the surgery by washing the inside of the hip with antibiotic wash to prevent infection, and then sews up the incision. On average, the whole process takes just over an hour.
After surgery, the patient is sent to a recovery room and then to a hospital room. A few hours after surgery, the patient is examined by one of Dr. Berger’s nurses. The patient will walk down the hospital hallway and climb and descend one flight of stairs. Once the patient has been thoroughly examined and all questions have been answered, the patient is discharged from the hospital the same day of surgery.