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The SuperPath Hip Replacement

We now have a better way to treat hip arthritis, the SuperPath hip replacement.  This article reviews why we do hip replacements, the evolution of hip replacements, and what can be expected from this relatively new, more advanced, and less invasive hip replacement surgery.

Joint replacements are done for joint pain and loss of joint function.  Some of the major causes of joint pain are osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis), inflammatory arthritis (such as rheumatoid and gout), trauma, avascular necrosis (loss of blood flow to the bone) and cancer.  All these conditions can have the same end result with mechanical destruction of the joint which results in pain and loss of function.

Initial treatments are non-operative.  We can start with lifestyle changes such as decreased alcohol consumption, weight loss, increasing flexibility, and low impact strength training.  Secondary treatments include anti-inflammatory medications.  From there we consider injections. Many people think joint injections are very painful and dangerous, but done by a trained provider, these injections take about 3 seconds and are very easy with minimal pain.  Injections can potential give relief for months to years, and can be regularly repeated.  If these things do not provide adequate relief, we consider joint replacement surgery.

There have be millions of hip replacement surgeries done all over the world.  Just in the United States, there are hundreds of thousands of hip replacements done every year.  With hip replacement surgery, the surgeon replaces the worn out body parts with metal and plastic type parts. These have been extremely successful with excellent pain relief and return of function.  Over the last 100 years, the actual joint implants really have not changed that dramatically.  However, how we put them in has changed dramatically and that has really improved patient satisfaction and outcomes. Hip replacement surgery has gotten so much easier for the patient that we have gone from patients staying in the hospital after surgery for 2 weeks, to many patients routinely just staying in the hospital overnight and in the near future going home the same day.

Traditional hip replacements started with what we called a posterior approach to the hip.  This involved going in to the back side of the hip joint through about a 10-15 inch incision and cutting multiple muscles off the bone to get in the hip.  Patients typically had a lot of pain and were very weak for months waiting for all the muscles to heal.  There was also a higher risk of complications such as the hip joint popping backwards out of the hip joint because all the tissues were weak from cutting them to get in to the hip.

Next, surgeons tried the mini-posterior hip replacement.  With this, surgeons tried to make the surgery less invasive by doing it through a smaller incision about 6 inches, but really that is all that was changed.  All the tissues still got cut off the bone and there was no significant improvement in pain, function, or complications.

The next improvement was the anterior hip replacement.  This involved going into the front of the hip joint through about a 5 inch incision.  The good side of this approach was that surgeons could get into the hip without cutting through any muscles or taking any muscle off bone. The surgeon just went in between muscles, and patients hurt less and functioned better sooner.  The bad side of this approach was that it was harder to learn and harder to get in the hip joint and see well, especially in larger patients.  In turn, there was a higher risk of thigh bone fractures, and increased risk of the hip popping out of place through the front.

This brings us to one of the most recent improvements, the SuperPath hip replacement.  This approach involves going down through the top of the hip joint.  It can be done through a 3 inch incision. There is no cutting or detachment of muscles.  Because of this, patients hurt less and function better sooner.  There is less risk of breaking the thigh bone.  There is less risk of the hip popping out of place through the front or the back.  With the decreased risk of the hip popping out, patients have less restrictions after surgery and can get back to normal living much faster.  Currently, this approach is only being done in the Tennessee and Arkansas area by Dr. Ron Schechter at NEA Baptist Hospital in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  Quit hurting and call today!

My Chart: Take Control of Your Health

We know that managing your health records and the health records of your family can seem overwhelming. Our fully integrated electronic health record, Baptist OneCare MyChart, can help eliminate that stress and give you the tools you need to take control of your health. Not only does it digitize your patient files, but it also allows you to access your health records anytime, anywhere; refill prescriptions; make appointments with your doctor; and even consult with your doctor’s office remotely. It makes your continuum of care completely seamless by linking treatment, imaging, lab, and referral services on one easy-to-use platform.

If you haven’t signed up yet, we’ve put together this brief guide to show you how to register and describe the variety of benefits this technology offers.

Creating an Account
After you’ve received a service at a Baptist facility, you’ll receive an enrollment letter with a code you can use to create your account. Visit the Baptist OneCare MyChart registration page and enter the information required. The website will walk you through three pages to complete your registration.

Once you have an account, you can download the app for your phone as well so you can have easy access even if you’re not by your computer.

Making a Payment
Once you’ve logged in to your MyChart account, you can easily pay any outstanding bills. To do so, click “View details for account” and you’ll find the option to “view your account summary”. Upon arrival at that page, choose the billing tab and view your account summary. There you 
will find the option to pay your bill with ease. All you’ll need to enter is your billing address, credit card information, and security code. You’ll receive a confirmation screen you can keep for your records showing that you paid your bill.

Refill a Prescription
Forget about having 
to call your pharmacy or your doctor – if you need a prescription refilled, you can easily do so through MyChart. You can get to the Rx Refill form directly from the homepage. From there, choose which of your prescriptions need to be filled from the prepopulated list. If you don’t see your medication on the list, you can choose “other” and type in the name manually. There is even a comments box for any additional information you need to relay. Use the dropdown menu to select the pharmacy where you want to pick it up and choose the delivery method, pickup time, and payment type. Submit your request and you’ll receive a confirmation page to keep for your records.

Send a Message
There are two different options within MyChart that 
allow you to reach out to your doctor and receive answers to your medical questions. The first option is using the “Get Medical Advice” form. You can also use the messaging feature. Both allow you to select a recipient for your message from a list of names, choose a subject, and enter your question.

You can view health reminders, appointment reminders, notifications about test results, and messages from your health care providers in your inbox. These basic features are just some of what Baptist OneCare MyChart has to offer.

You can activate your MyChart account by visiting:

Support Group and Nutrition Class

Support groups present weight loss patients with a forum to openly discuss any problems or concerns regarding weight loss surgery. A variety of topics will be discussed with frequent guest speakers. Patients who share their experience and have the support of others tend to have better long term results.

Support Group

Facilitator: Gayla Smith, RN, NEA Baptist Weight Loss Surgery Coordinator

NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, 4800 E. Johnson, Jonesboro, AR 72401
Held at 6:00 p.m. in the Conference Center on the 1st Tuesday of every month
For more information about weight loss support groups, e-mail Gayla Smith.

Nutrition Class

Facilitator: Gayla Smith, RN, NEA Baptist Weight Loss Surgery Coordinator

NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, 4800 E. Johnson, Jonesboro, AR 72401
Held at 6:00 p.m. in the Conference Center on the 2nd Thursday of every month
For more information about bariatric nutrition class, e-mail Gayla Smith.



How a Healthy Shoulder Works

Your shoulder is the most moveable joint in the body. It is made up of three bones:

  • the collarbone, or clavicle
  • the shoulder blade, or scapula
  • and the upper arm bone, or humerus

There are also two important joints that allow for movement:

  • The acromioclavicular joint connects the upper part of the shoulder blade (the acromion) to the collarbone.
  • The glenohumeral joint, also known as the shoulder joint, is a ball-and-socket joint that connects the upper arm to the shoulder blade. This joint allows free movement of the arm so that it can rotate in a circular fashion.

Although the shoulder is the most moveable joint in the body, it is unstable because the ball (the humerus) is larger than the socket (the glenoid) that holds it. To maintain stability, the bones of the shoulder are held in place by muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Tendons are tough cords of tissue that attach muscles to bone, and ligaments attach bones to each other for stability.

The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles and their tendons, which act to hold the upper arm (humerus) to the socket of the shoulder (glenoid fossa). The rotator cuff also provides mobility and strength to the shoulder joint. Two sac-like structures, called bursae, allow smooth gliding between the bone, muscle, and tendon. They also cushion and protect the rotator-cuff structures from the upper part of the scapula (the acromion).

What causes shoulder pain?

According to the AAOS about 23,000 people have shoulder replacement surgery each year. This compares to more than 700,000 Americans a year who have knee and hip replacement surgery*. Shoulder problems may arise because of injury to the soft tissues of the shoulder, overuse or underuse of the shoulder, or even because of damage to the tissues.

Shoulder problems result in pain, which may be localized to the joint or travel to areas around the shoulder or down the arm. Damage to the shoulder joint may result in instability of the joint, and pain is often felt when raising the arm or when soft tissues are trapped between the bones (impingement). Impingement is particularly common in sports activities that involve repetitive overhead arm motions, such as pitching baseballs.

You may have a shoulder injury if:

  • Your shoulder is stiff and doesn’t allow full normal movement.
  • Your shoulder lacks strength to perform your daily activities.
  • Your shoulder feels as if it’s slipping out of place (upper arm bone “popping” or a feeling that your arm is sliding out of the shoulder socket).

Another common cause of shoulder pain is arthritis. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA) — sometimes called degenerative arthritis because it is a “wearing out” condition involving the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. OA can occur without a shoulder injury, but this seldom happens since the shoulder is not a weight-bearing joint like the knee or hip. Instead, shoulder OA commonly occurs many years following a shoulder injury, such as a dislocation, that has led to joint instability and damage, allowing OA to develop.

Your Treatment Options for Shoulder Pain

Following an orthopaedic evaluation of your shoulder, your doctor will review and discuss the results with you. Based on his or her diagnosis, your treatment options may include medication, physical therapy, shoulder joint fluid supplements (injections that provide temporary pain relief), and/or Total shoulder joint replacement

When joint pain and stiffness become severe enough to affect your daily life and comfort, and when that pain is not relieved by other treatment options, shoulder replacement may be recommended.

* — January 2006.

About Shoulder Replacement

Replacement of an arthritic or injured shoulder is less common than knee or hip replacement. However, shoulder replacement typically offers all the same benefits as those procedures — including joint pain relief and the restoration of more normal joint movement.

Restoring your movement is particularly important in the shoulder, because it’s the mechanism that allows your arm to rotate in every direction. If you’re experiencing severe shoulder pain and reduced shoulder movement, there are probably many daily activities you can no longer do — or do as comfortably — as before your shoulder problems began. This may mean you’re ready to consider shoulder replacement surgery.

In shoulder replacement surgery, the artificial shoulder joint can have either two or three parts, depending on the type of surgery required.

  • The humeral component (metal)
  • The humeral head component (metal)
  • The glenoid component (plastic) replaces the surface of the socket
  • There are two types of shoulder replacement procedures:
  • Partial shoulder replacement is performed when the glenoid socket is intact and does not need to be replaced. In this procedure, the humeral component is implanted, and the humeral head is replaced.

Total shoulder replacement is performed when the glenoid socket is damaged and needs to be replaced. All three shoulder joint components are used in this procedure.

What’s involved in shoulder surgery?

  • Certain parts of your shoulder joint are removed and replaced with a plastic or metal device called a prosthesis, or artificial joint.
  • The artificial shoulder joint can have either two or three parts, depending on the type of surgery required.
  • The humeral component (metal) is implanted in the humerus, or upper arm bone.
  • The humeral head component (metal) replaces the humeral head at the top of the humerus.
  • The glenoid component (plastic) replaces the surface of the glenoid socket, or shoulder socket.


How a Healthy Hip Works

The hip is one of the main weight-bearing joints in your body. It consists of two main parts:

  • A ball (femoral head) at the top of your thighbone (femur)
  • A rounded socket (acetabulum) in your pelvis

Ligaments, which are bands of tissue, connect the ball to the socket and help keep the ball and socket steady. A smooth, tough material called articular cartilage, which cushions the bones and lets them move easily, covers the surfaces of the ball and socket.

The rest of the surfaces of the hip joint are covered by a thin, smooth tissue liner called synovial membrane, which makes a small amount of fluid that acts as a lubricant so that the bones in the hip joint will not rub against each other.

What Causes Hip Pain

Pain in your hip can be debilitating, making it difficult for you to walk, climb stairs, or even pick up an object from the floor. It can limit your freedom of movement and ability to function independently.

While hip pain can be caused by deformity or by direct injury, like trauma or a sports injury, the most common cause of hip pain is osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD). Depending on factors like age, weight, joint function, and activity, people with arthritis find their hip’s cartilage lining wears away over time. At that point, your bones begin to rub against each other, resulting in friction, swelling, pain, stiffness, and instability.

Experiencing joint pain day after day without relief can lead to “staying off” the joint — which often weakens the muscles around it so it becomes even more difficult to move.

Your Treatment Options

You don’t have to live with severe joint pain and the functional limitations it causes. If you have not experienced adequate results with medication and other conservative treatments, total joint replacement may provide the pain relief you long for, in addition to allowing you to return to the lifestyle and activities you enjoy. Your orthopaedic specialist can tell you whether you might benefit from joint replacement and explain the reasons why it may, or may not, be right for you.

Of course, even if your orthopaedic specialist determines that joint replacement is a good medical option for you, it is still up to you to make the final decision. The ultimate goal is for you to be as comfortable as possible, and that always means making the best decision for you based on your own individual needs.

About Total Hip Replacement

Hip replacement surgery involves replacing the femur (head of the thighbone) and the acetabulum (hip socket). Typically, the artificial ball with its stem is made of a strong metal or ceramic, and the artificial socket is made of polyethylene (a durable, wear-resistant plastic) or metal backed with a plastic liner. The artificial joint may be cemented in position or held securely in the bone without cement.

3D Mammography: The Next Level in Breast Cancer Detection

The NEA Baptist Breast Imaging Center is dedicated to keeping women healthy and cancer-free. With the addition of 3D mammography women now have the latest technology in mammography—3D— available here in northeast Arkansas.

What is 3D mammography?

3D mammography is a revolutionary state of the art technology approved by the FDA in February 2011, which gives radiologists the ability to view inside the breast layer by layer, helping to see the fine details more clearly by minimizing overlapping tissue. During a 3D mammogram, multiple low-dose images known as “slices” of the breast are acquired at different angles. With 3D technology, radiologist can view a mammogram in a way never before possible.

What are the benefits?

3D mammography can help improve breast cancer screening and detection. Since 3D mammography helps distinguish harmless abnormalities from real cancer, false positives are reduced. With the advanced technology of 3D, women have less anxiety, because now, there are fewer call backs for further testing.

The new technology sounds good, but how much radiation will I be exposed to?

It varies from person to A 3D mammography adds about 4 seconds per view to the compression time. Radiation exposure varies from person to person and is roughly equivalent to film/screen mammography. The amount of radiation is still below what the government sets as being safe.

Am I a candidate for 3D mammography?

Doctors and scientists agree that early detection is the best defense against breast cancer, which is why an annual mammogram and monthly self -exams are so important. 3D mammography has been shown in clinical studies to be more accurate than conventional mammography alone and all patients benefit from this revolutionary technology regardless of breast density or family history.

When should I schedule my first mammogram?

All women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year. Women 18 or older with a family history of breast cancer should consult with your doctor.

Should I have a 3D mammogram even if I had one last year?

Yes! At NEA Baptist, we recommend that all women get a 3D mammogram every year as part of their annual mammography examination. Early detection provides the greatest chance for finding curable breast cancers and the best chance for early detection is with 3D mammography. Women should ask for this new technology, it is truly an important component in the screening process.

Does research support the use of 3D mammography?

A recent study published in The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) has found that the addition of tomosynthesis, a 3D imaging technique, to digital mammography was linked to a reduction in the number of patients being called back for additional testing and a rise in the breast cancer detection rate.

The study scrutinized data from 13 medical centers that had switched to 3D imaging. The researchers compared results from the years when the centers were using digital mammography alone compared to mammograms along with tomosynthesis (3D). They found a 15 percent reduction in recall rates along with a 41 percent increase in the detection of cancer.

Studies like the one cited above continue to reinforce the benefits of 3D mammography in breast cancer screening. We are excited to provide this new technology to our patients, and we encourage every woman to take advantage of 3D mammography.

NEA Baptist Clinic Breast Imaging Center accepts walk-ins along with appointments. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 870-936-PINK.