Anterior Total Hip Arthroplasty

Michael Anderson, MD

A Perspective by: Michael Anderson, M.D.

The Anterior Approach for hip replacement is a unique tissue sparing alternative to the traditional posterior or lateral approaches. By using this muscle sparing method patients may have, less pain post-operatively, a shorter hospital stay, and a quicker recovery.

How is the Anterior Hip approach different from the other approaches?

  • Because the hospital stay is so short (often less than 24 hours) extra time in patient education before surgery is spent to help the patient fully understand what to expect before, during and after the surgery.
  • The surgery is done on a special high-tech operating room table (Dixie Regional Medical Center has two of these tables) that controls the position of the hip during surgery.
  • Intra operative x-ray for precise placement of the artificial hip components is used during surgery.
  • The surgical path to get to the hip via the anterior approach goes between muscles causing less damage to the hip.

Potential Benefits of the Anterior Approach to the Hip:

  • Because the anterior approach is tissue sparing key muscles on the side or back of the hip are not cut during the surgery likely resulting in less scaring and decreased post-operative pain.
  • Using real-time x-ray control during surgery we are able to have more precise placement and sizing of the artificial hip components.
  • With the muscles and tendons largely intact the hip right after surgery’s inherently more stable hence fewer restrictions for the patient.
  • Full weight-bearing is usually allowed immediately after surgery.
  • With less surgical trauma during the anterior approach there is likely a quicker overall recovery.

As with any major surgery all risks must be considered. Not every patient is a candidate for the anterior approach.I encourage you to discuss with your surgeon which type of surgery is best for you.

Michael Anderson, M.D.

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