Anterior Approach Hip Replacement Specialist

Anterior Approach Hip Replacement Q & A

What is a hip replacement?

Hip replacement surgery is a procedure used to treat debilitating conditions of the hip. There are two common approaches to hip replacement: posterior approach, and anterior approach hip replacement. Depending on the specific conditions of the patient, the orthopaedist may recommend one or the other. Conditions that may necessitate hip replacement include:

  • Primary osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease)
  • Post-traumatic osteoarthritis (arthritis that develops after a fracture)
  • Avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis)
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

During the hip replacement procedure, the damaged joint surfaces of the ball and socket are removed and replaced with an implant. The femoral component is a metal prosthesis inserted into the femur. The acetabular (socket) component is a metal cup placed into the pelvis.

A bearing surface is then attached to both implants. These bearing surfaces can come from different materials. Usually, the acetabular bearing is plastic (polyethylene). The ball on the femoral component can be either metal or ceramic.

How is an anterior approach hip replacement different?

During an anterior approach hip replacement, the incision is on the front of the hip. Your surgeon will spread the muscles apart to gain access to the hip. This means there is no need to cut any muscles or tendons. Some surgeons use a unique table to perform anterior approach hip replacement, but this is not always required.

What are the advantages of anterior approach hip replacement?

Because your surgeon does not cut any muscles or tendons, anterior approach hip replacement offers several advantages, including:

  • Faster recovery
  • Less pain
  • Fewer post-operative precautions required
Who is a candidate for anterior approach hip replacement?

The surgeons and physical therapists at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates will first recommend conservative treatments for any orthopaedic issues. If non-surgical approaches fail, your surgeon will discuss your options with you.

Most patients who are candidates for hip replacement surgery can have the procedure performed using an anterior approach. There are certain conditions, however, which may necessitate an alternate method. Obese patients may not be good candidtates, as the extra soft tissue can make accessing the joint difficult.

What should I expect during my recovery?

Many patients can be discharged home on the day of surgery. Most patients walk with a walker for approximately one week and then transition to a cane. Driving is usually possible 3-4 weeks after surgery. Depending on your function, your surgeon may recommend physical therapy. Many patients can use a home exercise program.

To learn about your anterior approach hip replacement options or to schedule your appointment, call Town Center Orthopaedic Associates any time at (571) 346-2411, or book online today.

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