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On the leading edge of hip surgery

Marshall Orthopaedics is first in the region to offer hip arthroscopy.
May. 02, 2013 @ 03:18 PM

The leading-edge technology and benefits of hip arthroscopy are now available to the tri-state region because of the joint efforts of Marshall Orthopaedics and Cabell Huntington Hospital. As the region’s first and only provider of this advanced surgical procedure, the award-winning orthopedic group offers hip arthroscopy within its comprehensive line of minimally invasive and arthroscopic joint procedures.

Guided by a small camera, joint arthroscopy uses small incisions and specialized instruments to precisely treat disorders and dysfunctions within and around the joint capsule. Outcomes are comparable to those of a traditional “open” surgery, with the added benefits of smaller incisions, faster recovery times, and fewer complications. Although surgeons have been routinely and successfully performing arthroscopic shoulder and knee surgery for decades, the complex anatomy and deep location of the hip have made it a relative newcomer to the realm of arthroscopic joint surgery.

“Joint preserving surgery of the hip is a relatively new field with evolving techniques, and we at Marshall Orthopaedics are proud to provide this much needed service for the tri-state community,” explained Tigran Garabekyan, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Marshall Orthopaedics who performs the procedure along with orthopedic sports medicine specialists John Jasko, MD, and Charles Giangarra, MD.

Patients who are candidates for hip arthroscopy typically suffer from symptoms caused by repetitive injury with everyday activities, often predisposed by an underlying structural abnormality. A progressive condition often without a clear inciting event, the result can be chronic groin and hip pain in relatively young, and otherwise active adults.

“The pain often affects many aspects of our patients’ lives, from their performance at work to their participation in recreational activities. Left untreated, symptoms can progress and result in a markedly debilitating condition in an otherwise young, healthy individual,” said Garabekyan.

“With progressive joint damage, the window of opportunity to restore function through minimally invasive joint preserving surgery becomes smaller,” Garabekyan said, adding that total hip replacement might eventually be necessary.

Fortunately, once the nature of the problem is determined, most patients can find relief and benefit from non-surgical treatment offered through Cabell Huntington Hospital Rehabilitation Services.

“With an injection and the excellent treatment provided by physical therapists at Cabell Huntington Hospital, most patients have been able to avoid surgical intervention,” said Dr. Jasko, who along with Dr. Giangarra treats elite Marshall University athletes with sport medicine injuries.

When conservative therapies are unsuccessful, arthroscopy could be beneficial, Garabekyan said. Treatment goals of surgery are two-fold, directed toward improving function and mechanical symptoms while changing the joint’s natural history toward progressive arthritis by reshaping the bone structure.

The ability to receive minimally-invasive treatment locally was significant for 32-year-old patient Travis Shamblin of St. Albans, who underwent hip arthroscopy by Drs. Garabekyan and Jasko in December 2012. A physically fit father of two, Shamblin’s pain was negatively impacting his workouts and the ability to enjoy outdoor activities with his children. Following a successful arthroscopy and rehabilitation period, he has regained his active lifestyle and is even able to run several miles pain-free.

“I’m doing wonderfully,” Shamblin said, noting the shortness of his recovery time compared to what he would have faced with an open surgery. “I’m very happy with the care I’ve received.”

Throughout his experience, Shamblin recognized the advantage of Marshall Orthopaedics’ and Cabell Huntington Hospital’s multi-disciplinary approach to hip and pelvic pain, which includes a wide range of surgeons, specialized nurses and therapists, radiologists, and other Marshall Health physicians.

“It was a team effort between Marshall Orthopaedics and the hospital,” he said. “I think it all went together. If you’d taken out one part of the equation, I’m not sure I would’ve had the same success.”

For more information about hip arthroscopy and other orthopedic services available from Marshall Orthopaedics, please call 304.691.1262.