CHH Joint Replacement Center First in CT to use HipSextant™ Surgical Navigation During Hip Surgery


David M. Freccero, M.D. of Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s Joint Replacement and Orthopedics center has become the first orthopedic surgeon in Connecticut to use the HipSextant™ Navigation System during two hip replacement surgeries on Friday, April 26, 2013. This “smart” surgical instrument and system is designed to assist surgeons in placing the new artificial implant’s cup—the hip socket component—into the pelvis with greater precision during hip replacement surgery.

“Patients want the results of their surgery to last as long as possible and understand that surgical precision is the key to long-term success. This device helps us achieve this,” said Dr. Freccero, who plans to use the navigation system in the future hip surgeries.

The system uses a navigation instrument that works in conjunction with Web-based software to determine the most precise positioning for the surgical implant. The surgeon takes a CT study of the patient, which is uploaded to a website, where a 3D model of the patient’s hip is created. The surgeon then downloads and opens the 3D plan, using software that runs on any desktop or laptop computer, and can then adjust the plan to input the desired cup orientation. This determines the exact settings on the instrument, which is then used during the surgery. The new technology has been proven to be significantly more accurate, not only compared to traditional surgery techniques, but also when compared to established computer-assisted surgery methods.

The device was developed by Dr. Stephen Murphy, an orthopedic surgeon at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Mass., and an associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.  He has invented many surgical methods, instruments and implants to improve hip surgery for more than 25 years, including a minimally invasive surgery technique called the superior capsulotomy that allows most patients to safely return directly home just a day after a hip replacement.HS Nav Tool 1

“The challenge for surgeons is knowing exactly where the pelvis is during surgery so they can properly align the implant,” says Dr. Murphy “The HipSextant solves this problem by enabling surgeons to custom-adjust the instrument according to their specific alignment goals and each patient’s shape.”

Surgeons have used traditional computerized navigation systems to achieve better cup positioning, but these can be expensive, complex and time-consuming to use during surgery.

“When implants are placed correctly, they reduce the risk of post-surgical complications, including hip revision surgery,” Dr. Murphy notes. “Revision surgery is complex and costly, not only to society but especially to the patient. Our goal with the HipSextant is to improve outcomes in the simplest way possible.”

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s Joint Replacement and Orthopedics practice is part of its Multi-Specialty Group of outpatient services under the directorship of board-certified orthopedic surgeon David M. Freccero, M.D. Dr. Freccero offers innovative anterior hip surgery and knee replacements with muscle sparing and smaller incisions performed with specialized instrumentation to reduce trauma and promote faster recovery.

Dr. Freccero earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Mich. He completed his internship in general surgery and residency in orthopedic surgery at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He also completed the prestigious Otto E. Aufranc Adult Reconstruction Surgery Fellowship at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Mass. While at New England Baptist Hospital, Dr. Freccero worked closely with Dr. Murphy as his Fellow, and learned the importance of using computer-assisted surgical navigation to perform tissue-preserving surgery to optimize surgical precision, and improve patient outcomes. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and holds a Subspecialty Certificate in Orthopedic Sports Medicine.

Following his residency, Dr. Freccero was stationed in Seoul, South Korea at the 121st Combat Support Hospital/U.S. Army MEDDAC-Korea. As a Major in the U.S. Army, he served as chief of the orthopedic surgery service there. While stationed in Korea, he provided a full-range of orthopedic surgery services to over 40,000 U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel and their families. During his fellowship in adult reconstruction surgery at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, he gained tremendous experience in limited-incision and muscle-sparing surgery for hip and knee replacements. He also performed extensive research in postoperative pain management protocols to optimize postoperative patient mobility and overall recovery.

CHH Joint Replacement and Orthopedics is located at 538 Litchfield Street, Suite 203, in Torrington. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 860-496-6265.

The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital is a 109 bed, general acute care hospital located in Torrington, Connecticut, that serves as a regional health care resource for 100,000 residents of Litchfield County and Northwest Connecticut. CHH offers personalized attention from an expert team of caregivers and physicians that utilize advanced technology and clinical partnerships in a convenient, safe and comfortable patient environment. One Thousand Caregivers, One Job, Your Health. Visit for information.


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