Lee Eric Rubin, MD, is a fellowship-trained, board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who cares for people with hip and knee problems. He is skilled in joint preservation techniques, partial and total joint replacements, and revisions. He also cares for patients who have prosthetics such as artificial joints that may be failing or complicated by pain, a dislocation, or an infection.
Dr. Rubin is a leading expert in a minimally invasive approach to hip replacement called the direct anterior approach (DAA) which provides patients with a smoother surgery and more rapid early recovery. He was one of the few physicians in the United States to learn the DAA directly during a yearlong fellowship with Kristaps J. Keggi, MD, professor emeritus of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Keggi pioneered the anterior hip approach at Yale in the 1970s, when it was considered revolutionary.
The DAA has significant advantages for patients over traditional total hip replacement. The traditional procedure requires a large incision along the side or back of the hip and involves cutting through or detaching muscles and tissues. With the far less invasive DAA, the surgeon makes a small incision on the front of the hip, moves muscles and tendons out of the way, and then returns them to their proper place once the new hip implants have been put in place.
Dr. Rubin says the DAA has driven the evolution of modern hip surgery. “As a result of these innovations, hip surgery has become a positively transformative experience for my patients,” he says. The DAA procedure virtually eliminates the need for therapy restrictions and blood transfusions after surgery, he says. It shortens hospital stays, reduces pain and narcotic use, and allows patients to recover at home with fewer complications. “In addition, the DAA has helped us to develop an Outpatient Total Joint Replacement program, empowering us to safely get patients home the same day of surgery to recover in the comfort of their own home,” says Dr. Rubin.
An associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Rubin serves both as the section chief of Yale’s division of adult reconstruction and chief of the total joint replacement program at Yale New Haven Hospital. In these dual roles, he coordinates care for patients who have total joint surgery, streamlines the rehabilitation process for patients and their families, and provides oversight for ongoing quality improvement projects, in addition to other responsibilities. Dr. Rubin also serves as the program director for the Yale arthroplasty fellowship, a program that will educate one fellow each year in the advanced concepts of total joint reconstruction, beginning in August 2021.
In 2016, he and Dr. Keggi published the world’s first comprehensive book on anterior hip surgery, called “The Direct Anterior Approach to Hip Reconstruction.” The book is considered to be the definitive reference used by surgeons around the world; a second edition is planned for release in 2021. Dr. Rubin has also recently published two patient-facing education books on hip replacement and knee replacement, entitled, “Experts Answer Your Questions.”
In addition to performing hip and knee surgery for Yale Medicine patients, Dr. Rubin educates and trains medical students, residents, fellows and other practicing surgeons in use of the technique.