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Health Newsfeed # 1237

PARTIAL PELVIS REPLACEMENT

The bone of the pelvis can be eaten away by cancer. When enough of it has eroded, patients usually face either a total hip replacement or some kind of reconstructive surgery. Even if they retain the ability to walk, it's often with a lot of pain. Sometimes the plastic parts used in the hip replacement degenerate, causing even more pain. Patients in this situation sometimes hear they'll face life on crutches or in a wheelchair. Now, a partial pelvis replacement is available at certain hospitals. New to the U.S., the procedure uses stainless steel parts instead of plastic. Johns Hopkins orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Steven Lietman.

We have not had any of these implants loosen over the first year that we've been doing them. And the patients have in many cases noted remarkable improvements in terms of their ability to ambulate and their decrease in pain. :15

The operation is complicated and requires weeks of recovery. But Dr. Lietman says people who've been told to accept their situation...should get a second opinion.

At the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, I'm Tom Haederle reporting.

Copyright 2000 The Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.


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