Doctor, Surgical Team Perform JFL’s First Anterior Hip Replacement

The MEDACTA table for anterior total hip replacement, at the Juan F. Luis Hospital. (Photo provided by JFL)Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital can now add anterior total hip replacement to the services it provides. Dr. Jeffrey Chase and a JFL surgical team on Jan. 20 performed St. Croix’s hip replacement of this type on a 73-year old female patient, according to the hospital.

The highly specialized procedure took about two hours, and the patient has been doing well, according to hospital officials.

Along with specialized training, the procedure also requires a special operating room table, as the leg has to be placed safely into a specific position. MEDACTA, a Swiss based world-leader in orthopedic manufacturing, provided the anterior minimally invasive surgery table at no cost to JFL for the surgery. Dave Bozeman, a representative from MEDACTA helped Chase train the JFL staff and was present for the procedure.

“The whole purpose is to improve patient satisfaction with the process. Recovery is getting the patient back to their family to do what they did before, whether it’s taking walks with the grandkids, or whatever they want, and the JFL staff was wonderful. They were all very focused, and I can tell they’re very committed to their patients and their jobs,” Bozman said.

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The anterior procedure is different from the traditional hip replacement, which uses a posterior approach. With the anterior hip method, the surgery is performed through a small incision on the front of the hip and no muscles are cut. Benefits of the AMIS technique include a shorter recovery period, no restrictions on activity or leg or hip position, less pain, and less likelihood for patient to have a limp, since the muscles are not cut. There also is almost no risk of dislocation, according to the hospital.

The anterior total hip surgery works well for almost any total hip replacement candidate, and JFL is now able to offer this minimally invasive alternative, the hospital noted in its announcement.

“I am pleased to be able the offer the patients on St. Croix the excellent care they deserve without having to travel to St. Thomas or off island,” Chase said. “I am committed to the mission of JFL and to providing the St. Croix community with orthopedic excellence, whether it be the total hip, total knee or other procedures I now routinely perform at JFL. Thanks to the training we did and their professionalism, the staff made my job easier; performing flawlessly despite the fact it was the first time they had actually seen the surgery live. It is amazing to see the benefits of this particular procedure. Many of my patients come in the week after their hip replacement with only a cane, if anything, to help them walk. This particular patient had a very bad hip and should feel a tremendous amount of relief immediately” he said.

Chase has performed the same procedure on St. Thomas for a number of years through his practice at Virgin Islands Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. He has been performing total knee replacements on St Croix for more than a year. 

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