Health Check: New combined hip replacement surgery

Walking is a pretty big deal for Sandra Lato of Warwick. For years she had some pretty severe hip pain.

"The past two years I had most of my pain. I couldn't go upstairs using both legs," Lato said. "Bending was really difficult. Walking was terrible."

That all changed a few months ago when she went to see Dr. Bob Marchand, an orthopedic surgeon at South County Hospital. He performed her hip replacement, something he calls a hip trifecta.

"Now you can combine the robotics to get the precision, the anterior approach so you can spare muscles and a mini-stem so you can preserve more bone," Marchand said.

Marchand also performed Sandra's hip surgery anteriorally, which means instead of performing the surgery through the back and cutting through muscle, her surgery was done through a smaller incision in the front.

"Certain specific patients are better candidates for anterior approach. It's not for everybody," Marchand said.

Lato was a good candidate though. She said it's what she wanted.

Lato had her surgery in February, was in the hospital only a few days and walking without the help of a walker or a cane a few weeks later.

Now she said she's doing things she couldn't do for the longest time.

"Going upstairs with two feet, which is a miracle, getting up from a seated position, all of those things, walking. You know, just everyday life has been 100 percent improved," Lato said.

Marchand said he's done this type of hip replacement a dozen times in the last three months with good results.