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Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City completes first hip arthroscopy in Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City completes first hip arthroscopy in Abu Dhabi

Shorter recovery time, reduced inpatient stay and quicker return to function for 69 -year-old Emirati mother of two.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. April 6, 2021: 

Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC), one of the UAE’s largest hospitals for serious and complex care and a joint-venture partnership between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and Mayo Clinic, has successfully completed the first hip arthroscopy in the UAE capital as part of a hip labral tear repair procedure for a 69-year-old Emirati patient.

The patient had been experiencing excruciating hip/groin pain for the past four years. Upon visiting SSMC and completing tests and appointments, she was diagnosed with a hip labral tear.

A hip labrum is a ring of fibrocartilage that follows the outside rim of the bony hip joint socket. In addition to cushioning the hip joint, the labrum acts like a rubber seal or gasket to help hold the ball at the top of the thighbone securely within the hip socket. Hip labral tears can be caused by trauma, structural abnormalities, or repetitive motions.

To relieve the patient of her symptoms, the medical team opted to repair the labrum arthroscopically and the procedure was completed successfully. The arthroscopic procedure involves the insertion of a narrow tube attached to a fiber-optic video camera and surgical tools through small incisions, approximately the size of a buttonhole. The procedure is designed to diagnose and treat joint pathology as a day care procedure.

Dr. Sheik Hussain, consultant orthopedic surgeon, SSMC, said: “The patient’s symptoms involved painful catching and locking sensation and despite her age there was minimal arthritic changes along with a labral tear confirmed by MRI scan which was a key factor in our decision to proceed with a minimally invasive tactic as opposed to a more traditional approach. We were hopeful to eliminate the hip pain by completing the labral repair. Considering the age, traditional surgery would have resulted in additional pain and lengthy recovery time with minimal overall benefit and also future surgery like hip replacement would have inferior outcomes.

Hip arthroscopy allows the surgeon to visualize the deep seated hip joint and surrounding areas outside the joint, and perform procedures without making a large incision. The advantages of this approach include limited trauma to the joint (which minimizes hip pain and scarring), shortened recovery time, and less physical therapy during the recovery phase. In addition, traditional methods of hip surgery involve long scar, significant tissue trauma and placement of screws into the thigh bone, the removal of which requires a second surgery resulting in increased risk of infection, clots in the leg vein, and a lengthy hospital stay and rehabilitation phase.

“Nine out of 10 patients who undergo a hip arthroscopy are discharged on the same day fully weight-bearing and within one week can stop using crutches,” added Dr. Hussain.

Following the hip arthroscopy and labral repair, the 69-year-old mother of two and grandmother of 10 spent one day in the hospital before going home, underwent physiotherapy, and continued visiting SSMC for follow-ups to monitor her progress. She reports drastically decreased hip pain and better function.

The patient’s son said: “My mother spent an extensive time feeling pain in her hip, with limited hope of a definitive diagnosis or treatment. When Dr. Hussain and the rest of her medical team finally identified the problem, and better yet, had a solution, she was so pleased, as were we. We’re so grateful for their compassionate and expert care that allowed her to not only get the treatment that she needs but do so in a way that didn’t add pressure on her physical or emotional wellbeing.”

Established on January 9, 2020, SSMC reflects SEHA and Mayo Clinic’s shared commitment to accelerate the development of the nation’s health care industry and enhance the quality of care provided to patients in the UAE and beyond.

In its first year of operations, the UAE’s largest tertiary hospital completed over 270,000 outpatient visits, cared for more than 17,000 inpatients, and provided rapid medical intervention to over 94,000 patients visiting SSMC’s emergency department. In addition, the facility completed over 8,500 surgical procedures, including regional firsts such as spiral enteroscopy and artificial intelligence-aided colonoscopy.

With SSMC’s collaborative, patient-centric approach, the UAE community has access to a safe, high-quality, specialty-specific continuum of care that offers the best individual health outcomes.

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