Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


Scott Hazelwood


Surgical Tooling Designed for the Direct Anterior Approach to Total Hip Arthroplasty Jon-Peter Meckel

Total hip arthroplasty (THA) is becoming more and more common in the US as people continue to live longer and more active lives. The main reason that a THA is required is due to the “wear and tear” affliction of osteoarthritis, which in the year 2000 had at least 3% of the population over 30 showing symptoms. A revitalized approach to THA is the direct anterior approach, or Smith-Petersen approach, which limits the amount of musculature affected by the surgery and creates a very stable joint post-operatively. While this approach is showing great clinical success, it does require slightly unconventional patient positioning. The pioneers of this surgical approach include Dr. Joel Matta, who along with Mizuhosi (Union City, CA, USA) has created an impressive direct anterior approach surgical table to address the problems associated with getting patients in the right position. Unfortunately, this table is very expensive, gives no feedback on force application, and surgeons are being taught that it is required to perform the procedure. This thesis introduces a simple set of surgical tooling that facilitates the direct anterior approach very cost effectively, giving the surgeon the feedback lacking in the expensive Mizuhosi table, and the flexibility to attempt the approach without convincing his or her hospital to make such a large capital investment. A prototype was successfully developed and tested to show that a simple solution exists to make the direct anterior approach more feasible for surgeons to incorporate into their practice.