Why Anterior Hip Replacement
Faster recovery. The anterior approach to the hip is a minimally invasive procedure. Minimally invasive does not mean a smaller incision, it means treating the soft tissues around the hip with respect and performing a hip replacement with the least amount of soft tissue damage possible. Less damage means less weakness, allowing patients to return to full function as quickly as possible.
Decreased pain. By performing a hip replacement through a minimally invasive technique, patients can expect less inflammation and irritation around the hip joint. Decreased inflammation means less pain, a diminished need for strong post operative pain medications, and increased function of the hip.
Decreased limp. The hip joint is completely surrounded by muscles and tendons. Traditional hip replacement surgeries, such as posterior or lateral approaches, require cutting major muscles in order to gain access to the hip. This can lead to limp, muscle weakness, and sometimes chronic hip pain. The anterior approach avoids cutting muscles and instead allows surgeons to work in between muscle groups. This allows the hip to maintain preoperative muscle strength and function.
Decreased risk of hip dislocation. A major post-surgical worry for most hip replacement patients is that the new hip’s ball and socket will dislocate. Traditional hip replacement patients are placed on strict hip precautions and are told not to cross their legs or sit in low chairs. However, anterior hip replacement surgery does not disturb the muscles and soft tissue structures that naturally prevent the hip from dislocating. Patients who undergo an anterior hip replacement are free to move their legs in whatever way is comfortable and do not have to follow any hip precaution instructions.
Decreased leg length inequality. The anterior approach allows surgeons to perform hip replacements with greater accuracy and precision. The surgery is performed using advanced x-ray imaging during the procedure. Through the use of real time imaging, a hip replacement can be implanted in the optimal position to improve hip function and recovery. Traditional hip replacements do not benefit from these technological advances, which can sometimes lead to legs being lengthened by an inch or more.
Shorter hospital stay. Patients who undergo an anterior approach hip replacement typically will find decreased pain and increased function very soon after their surgery, often walking the same day as their procedure. When compared to traditional approaches, patients can return home earlier, sometimes being discharged from the hospital within 24 hours of their procedure.