Patient Travels Far for Hana Hip Replacement at Asante
How far would you go for good medical care? Steve Garvin traveled across the world, from the bustling streets of Hong Kong to an operating table at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center—a Hana table to be exact--in 2010, where Dr. James Van Horne was the first surgeon in Oregon to do surgeries using the Hana table.
Front Versus Back
The latest advancement in hip replacement surgery, the Hana table allows surgeons to access the hip socket from the front of the body, called the anterior approach. Unlike the conventional method of operating from the backside (posterior), the anterior approach avoids cutting through muscle and provides a less traumatic route to the hip. This means a faster recovery and return to activities—a major factor for Steve, a 43-year-old flight attendant who needed to get back on his feet and back to work quickly.
“I’m on duty for 24 hours at a time, and I just couldn’t do it anymore,” Steve says, explaining how a hip injury in 2003 caused increasingly painful wear until, in 2009, he could actually feel and hear his bones grinding. Family and friends referred him to Asante Three Rivers orthopedic surgeon James Van Horne, MD, who reviewed Steve’s X-rays across the miles and knew he was a candidate for the Hana table.
“The people who really benefit from this surgery are the younger people who have to get back to work and seniors who don’t have family to help them,” says Dr. Van Horne. “People who would otherwise have to go to a nursing home for five weeks to recuperate, they’re off a walker or crutches in a week or so and driving a car again after two weeks.”
With posterior hip replacement, it could take up to four months before a patient is ready to return to normal activities. The anterior approach with the Hana table allows patients to enjoy limited duty by four weeks and full recovery by eight weeks. “You bounce back much more quickly,” says Dr. Van Horne. “I’ve had people golfing after two weeks.”
Surprisingly, the anterior procedure isn’t new. “The surgery has always been around; it was just very difficult to do without the table,” Dr. Van Horne explains. “Before, it took three or four people to do the surgery, which doesn’t happen in a non–university hospital. Now with the table, we can offer this procedure to more people.” He adds that the anterior approach with the Hana table may not be right for everyone, particularly people with soft bones (osteoporosis) or large, firm bellies.
Since his surgery, life is better for Steve Garvin. He’s back to work on international flights, free from pain, and joking about the one minor drawback of his new hip on the job: “The only problem is screening at the airport,” he says. “My new bionic hip.”