During total hip replacement, the ball and socket of the hip joint are surgically replaced with implants, which may be made from a variety of materials including metal, ceramic, and/or polyethylene, a medical-grade plastic. Traditionally, the surgeon makes an incision along the buttock or side of the leg to access the hip joint.
Anterior Hip Replacement
The anterior approach to total hip replacement is an alternative to traditional hip replacement surgery that provides the potential for less pain, faster recovery and improved mobility. Using this approach, the surgeon makes a smaller incision on the front of the leg.
“Unlike traditional hip replacement surgery, this technique allows the surgeon to work between the muscles and tissues without detaching them from either the hip or thigh bones,” said Dr. Pettit. “Patients who are candidates for this procedure are likely to benefit by having a shorter recovery time since key muscles are not detached using this technique.”
Potential benefits of using the anterior approach include:
- Potential for no restrictions during recovery. Although each patient responds differently, this procedure seeks to help patients more freely bend their hip and bear their full weight immediately after surgery.
- Possible reduced scarring because the technique allows for one relatively small incision. Since the incision is on the front side of the leg, the patient may be spared from the pain of sitting on scar tissue.
- Decreased likelihood of dislocation, resulting in part from the fact that the key muscles and tissues are not disturbed during the operation.