Expert information from Neal L. Rockowitz, M.D., Rockowitz Orthopaedic Center
The hip is one of the body’s largest joints and a hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the joint is replaced with a prosthetic implant. Although physical therapy can be used to treat hip discomfort and to increase mobility, hip replacements may be a necessary measure if you or someone you know suffers from arthritis or has physical joint damage and/or a hip fracture. There are multiple different hip replacement procedures and it can be hard to determine the right procedure without the facts. Some patients aren’t even aware that there are multiple options.
We recently consulted with Dr. Neal L. Rockowitz, a Hip, Knee, and Shoulder expert for more information. Dr. Rockowitz has had his own private and solo practice for over 25 years and was the first surgeon to perform the Direct Anterior Hip Replacement Procedure in the Southwest. The direct anterior approach is a tissue-sparing technique where surgeons will approach the hip joint from the front as opposed to the side or back. This allows the surgeon to work between the muscles without detaching them from the hip or thigh bones ultimately giving patients a smaller incision and faster recovery.
Around 1980 the Tri-lock® Hip Stem was introduced to the orthopedic community. The Tri-lock® Hip Stem has a tapered-wedge design that offers a higher level of stability and mobility. In the 1990’s this became increasingly popular and in 2006, Dr. Rockowitz was asked by Depuy/ Johnson & Johnson Corp. to join the design team of 6 surgeons to re-invent the Hip Stem. As a long-time ‘Champion’ of ‘tapered stems’, Dr. Rockowitz was the perfect candidate and in 2008, the Tri-lock® Bone Preservation Stem (BPS) was born.
The stem re-design involved alterations to the shape, base material, coating, and size range. The BPS is now J&J’s leading total hip replacement. In November of 2008, Dr. Rockowitz performed one of the first Tri-lock® BPS Hip Replacements through the Direct Anterior Approach with a fellow design team member, Dan Gannon, MD. Dr. Rockowitz has had the opportunity to interact with surgeons around the globe and surgeons from around the world have traveled to Phoenix to observe the use of the Tri-lock® BPS as well as the Direct Anterior Approach. As with any medical treatment, individual treatment and results vary.