The innovative surgical team from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), led by Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Prasad Antapur, are among only a select few in the country able to carry out the specialist SuperPath keyhole procedure.
The surgery means patients in need of hip replacements can have both hips replaced at the same time. This results in a significantly quicker recovery and a shorter hospital stay.
Mr Antapur explained: “Traditional hip replacements would require a 15 to 20 centimetre incision with release of many tissues around the hip to safely carry out the procedure. The patient would be restricted in their activities for approximately three months afterwards. This keyhole technique requires a small incision about five centimetres long and there are no restrictions.
“The average length of stay in hospital following surgery is 1.1 days and some patients can be driving again within two weeks or return to full time work at six weeks. The ability to give a normal life back is just amazing.”
David Burford, of Brant Broughton, was the first patient to have the procedure at Grantham and District Hospital.
Mr Burford (56) said he had always been an active person but had been struggling before he was diagnosed with osteoarthritis: “It got to the point where I was going up the stairs on all fours. Getting in and out of the car was impossible and I couldn’t walk for more than five or 10 minutes. I couldn’t continue that way anymore. I was in a pretty bad way.
“I was excited that my operation was going to be so unique.”
Mr Burford spent four days in hospital, with his stay complicated by an issue with his blood pressure. However, he was out of bed and on his feet within two days of his surgery. Before being discharged from the hospital, he had managed to walk up stairs and within a week of being home had taken short trips out of the house.
He added: “Within two weeks I was walking outside and I could get up and down the stairs without a stick. I have been able to return to work after four weeks. I have much better mobility than before the surgery and have been focusing on reaching little milestones. As the days go on, I am continuing to improve.”
Just last year, in May 2021, Mr Antapur and his team carried out the first SuperPath keyhole procedure on a single hip at Grantham. Since then he has performed 25 cases and is looking forward to helping more patients in Lincolnshire.
Mr Antapur said: “We reached a plateau in this area before the COVID-19 pandemic and I wondered what more we could do to benefit our patients. I came across this technique being used in America and I am now one of four surgeons that can do this in the UK.
“This kind of hip replacement is technically very challenging. A surgeon would typically need to have carried out at least 1,000 traditional hip replacements before being able to undertake this kind of hip replacement.
“It’s a privilege to be able to bring new and innovative procedures to Lincolnshire for our patients.”