Press Release: New Technology in Total Hip Replacements Performed at Milford Hospital

Milford, CT  (May 2010)  

“Milford is so fortunate to have the expertise and compassion of Dr. Amit Lahav.  Dr. Lahav has successfully replaced both of my hips resulting in a pain free life that I never expected to experience again,” said Joan Trapp who has had both hips replaced by Lahav a few years apart.  

The number of hip replacement surgeries has increased dramatically over the last ten years.    As our population ages, it is expected that the number will continue to grow. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, by 2030 more than half a million total hip replacements will be conducted each year.  Over the last five decades, since modern techniques were first pioneered in the 1960’s, hip replacement has become one of the most successful surgical interventions.   Over 95% of patients have good results and outcomes, a number that has been steadily improving with new advancements and technology in orthopaedic surgery.  

One of the most significant advancements in total hip replacement is that the surgery can now be done with minimally invasive techniques.  Milford surgeon, Dr. Amit Lahav performs numerous total hip replacements each year at the Connecticut Joint Center at Milford Hospital.  Unlike traditional methods of total hip replacement, which involve a 12 to 18 inch surgical incision and the cutting of muscle, Lahav’s procedure allows him to implant the replacement components through one smaller incision.  “Anterior Minimally Invasive Surgery (AMIS) is a less invasive total hip replacement procedure that does not require the cutting of muscle,” Dr. Lahav explains  “as a result, patients usually experience less pain, shorter hospital stays and recover quicker than with more traditional surgical interventions.”   In addition, Lahav also uses a minimally invasive posterior approach that has resulted in similar success as the anterior approach. 

“Reducing complications with total hip replacement is critical in the success of the surgery,” Lahav states. “One of the potential complications with hip replacements is dislocation of the ball from the socket.”  As a result, Metal-on-Metal hip replacements have gained in popularity over the past several years.   While the components used in  Metal-on-Metal replacements decrease the risk of dislocation, there is recent evidence that metallic debris may cause post operative concerns or failures. Lahav states, “The wear of metal on metal replacements can cause particles to enter the body and cause serious problems as well as loosening of the components.”  This has raised concerns after a recent article on the subject was published in the New York Times. 

According to Dr. Lahav, his surgical techniques, coupled with the use of specially manufactured artificial joints can provide patients with less post-operative pain, reduced risk of dislocation, no metallic debris in the body, and faster return to daily activities. 

Lahav has used an innovative prosthesis designed with large femoral heads for some time now, thus decreasing the risk of dislocation.  This newer technology is metal on plastic, or polyethylene.  By providing large heads with what he calls “tripolar technology;” where a small metal femoral head fits into a larger plastic head and than articulates with the pelvis cup, or acetabulum, there is no metal on metal contact.  Lahav is currently on a United States Orthopedic Surgeon Team with the orthopaedic company Medacta providing patients with better implants and techniques. 

William Winter, who was a high level dancer, had both hips replaced by Lahav several months apart stated “its like night and day. You go in with pain and leave without pain.” 

The prosthesis Lahav uses gives the same benefits of Metal-on-Metal without any of the risks. Polyethelene (the plastic that is used) has been around for decades and has a long track record. “I prefer to use materials which have shown success over and over again. We are just adjusting the technology to provide less risk of complication, thus improving results.”   

For more information on Dr. Lahav or the Connecticut Joint Center at Milford Hospital visit www.milfordhospital.com or call 203-876-4500.