Anterior Hip Replacement: A New Angle to a Common Procedure
Recently, I have started performing anterior hip replacements at Spencer Hospital, a procedure that’s new to the area. In anatomy “anterior” means something at or near the front of a person’s body while “posterior” is at the backside of the body. Traditional hip replacement surgery has used a posterior, anterolateral or Hardinge approach; however, we’re seeing several benefits to many of our patients using an anterior approach. Some of these potential advantages include:
- Less damage to major muscles. There are fewer muscles at the front of the hip, and rather than cutting through those muscles, I can work between them.
- Less pain. As a result of not having to cut major muscles, patients typically experience less post-operative pain and require less pain medication.
- Faster recovery. Again, with less muscle disruption, patients can typically bear weight sooner and begin the recovery process quicker.
- Shorter hospitalization. After a major surgery, nursing care is important to a patient’s recovery; however, patients often are discharged sooner after an anterior hip replacement procedure and are able to continue their recovery in the comfort of their own home.
- Decreased risk of hip dislocation. A major post-procedure concern for most hip replacement patients is the potential of the new hip’s ball and socket dislocating. Since the anterior approach is less disruptive of the muscles surrounding the hip joint, the risk of dislocation decreases.
With all those advantages, it’s easy to assume the anterior approach is the best method to use for all patients. However, it is not. The qualifications for this type of surgery depends on the individual’s bony structure and body type. As a physician, I will discuss the pros and cons with patients and see which surgical intervention is best suited to fit the individual’s needs.
Having experience in performing both types of procedures, I’ve been pleased with the outcomes achieved for my patients using either technique. It’s rewarding to receive post-surgical reports from patients during their follow-up visits on how much better they are feeling after choosing to undergo hip replacement. As an orthopedic surgeon, I appreciate being a part of helping patients achieve their maximum mobility and improved health.