The anterior approach to total hip replacement surgery is an alternative to traditional hip replacement surgery. The surgeon approaches the hip from the front instead of the side or behind and works between the patient’s muscle and tendon rather than cutting through it, sparing the tissue from trauma. This approach allows for less pain, faster recovery and improved mobility.
This approach is different than the traditional approach because it uses a smaller incision than most. It is important to note that having a good surgeon is going to be one of the key factors in the size of the incision with any replacement, but this approach helps ensure a smaller one than most surgeons would have with a traditional replacement. Smaller incisions usually mean less overall pain and shorter recovery for the patient.
Most hip replacements are traditionally done from the back or side rather than the front like this one is. This approach helps reduce muscle trauma and pain. Thus, hopefully helping the patient get up and move more quickly and with less downtime.
The goal of the hip replacement surgery whether it is the anterior approach or a more traditional approach is to replace the top of the thigh bone and the socket of the pelvis with an implant and decrease daily pain. An advantage of the anterior approach total hip replacement is a patient can begin rehabilitation faster because there are fewer muscles that need to recover from the surgery.
Other potential benefits of the anterior approach total hip replacement surgery may be minimal soft tissue trauma, reduced post-surgery pain, less scarring, earlier mobilization, and less post-operative restrictions.
This approach cannot be done on all patients and it is important to consult with an orthopedic specialist to discuss all of your options and let them help you determine if this would be an appropriate option for you.