Lee Eric Rubin, MD, is an 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 surrounded by 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 earlier 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 hip surgery. “As a result of these innovations, hip surgery has become a positively transformative experience for my patients,” he says. The surgery virtually eliminates the need for therapy restrictions and blood transfusions after surgery. It shortens hospital stays, and allows patients to recover at home with fewer complications.
An associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Rubin holds two leadership roles: co-chief of the Adult Reconstruction Division and chief of the Total Joint Replacement Program at the Center of Musculoskeletal Care, which is a partnership between Yale Medicine and Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH). In these 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.
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. In addition to performing hip and knee surgery for Yale Medicine patients, Dr. Rubin educates and trains residents, fellows and other practicing surgeons in use of the technique.