LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A new approach to hip replacement surgery uses a high-tech tool to allow surgeons to customize each operation.
Using the Optimized Position System, or OPS, doctors can create a blueprint of a person's anatomy weeks before surgery.
The hip replacement system was recently approved by the FDA and it helps surgeons find the best alignment for the prosthetics, using x-rays, CT scans and 3-D models.
Barbara Abbott had polio as a child, leaving her with legs of different lengths and hip pain. It even hurt for her to sit while she painted.
"So I'm afraid at the point I might fall because it's like a hot pan," Abbott explained. "You have to drop it. When you step on it at that perfect angle, it's just excruciating."
Before undergoing surgery with the OPS system, doctors get x-rays of patients to show how the pelvis moves in three positions.
"With the use of a CT scan of the pelvis, we can create this patient-specific block that exactly matches the bony morphology of the pelvis," Hoag Orthopedic Institute surgeon Dr. Steven Barnett said.
Those images are then used to make a hip analysis and a 3-D model of Abbott's hip, showing surgeons exactly where to put the socket and a guide block that's aligned with a laser.
"When we actually put the implant in, we just match up our laser points so that we know we've repeated the exact angles that we planned for pre-operatively," Barnett said.
The team also takes x-rays during the procedure to make sure everything lines up.
Barnett said that a patient's pain will immediately be done following the surgery.
"Since I'll be walking right away, I hope to be right out here going as soon as I can and get back on my bike." Abbott said.
Barnett said this procedure can be used for anyone who needs a total hip replacement. More than 3,000 patients have had the procedure in Australia and Europe, where it was approved years ago.
New technology allows for customized hip replacements
More TOP STORIES News