Anterior hip replacement surgery has changed the way orthopedic surgeons perform hip replacements. Traditionally, orthopedic surgeons have used a posterior approach (through the back of the hip) for hip replacement surgery. However, recently the anterior approach (through the front of the hip) has emerged as a viable option for some patients. The anterior hip replacement approach to hip replacement surgery is one of the least invasive surgical options in hip replacement surgeries.
How to Know if You're Ready for a Total Hip Replacement
The most common indication for hip replacement is due to osteoarthritis, or wear and tear of the cartilage in the hip joint. It may also be performed for conditions such as:
- Avascular necrosis
- Developmental dysplasia of the hip
- Post-traumatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Surgeons evaluate patients individually to determine if they are good candidates for hip replacements by assessing pain and disability levels and age. Your surgeon will have a conversation with you regarding your activity limitations, impact on lifestyle, and diagnosis, in addition to performing a physical examination to analyze your hip mobility, strength, and alignment. The diagnosis may also include X-rays that your surgeon will use to better understand the current state of your hip and extent of the damage. In some cases other tests may be performed, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Using this information, you and your surgeon can then determine if anterior hip replacement is the best option for you.
How Anterior Hip Replacement Is Performed
This procedure requires the surgeon to access the joint from the front of the hip instead of from the side or rear. During anterior hip replacement, your surgeon will make a 3- to 4-inch incision through the front of the leg, but not into the muscle. This makes it possible for your surgeon to access your hip joint by separating rather than cutting your muscles. The damaged bone and cartilage are then removed and replaced with the prosthesis.
You can learn more about the anterior hip replacement procedure by watching the following video:
What to Expect After Surgery
After surgery, you will go to a recovery room for several hours while your anesthesia is monitored, then you will be taken to your hospital room. Patients undergoing anterior hip replacement often experience a quicker recovery, shorter hospital stay, and reduced muscle damage and pain than patients who have the posterior hip replacement.
Most patients can stand and walk with help the day after surgery. Walking and light activity are important; however, it is imperative that you follow your doctor’s instructions in order to prevent complications. Your surgeon may discuss a variety of rehabilitation methods and options as needed, such as physical therapy, pain medications, and exercises.
Why Choose Southern Indiana Orthopedics?
Choosing the right doctor is important, and there are many different factors you should consider, including their level of professional training and expertise.
At Southern Indiana Orthopedics, our joint replacement doctors have had additional training in a specific area of the body or medical specialty. This additional training is referred to as fellowship training. Following their medical residencies, our providers have undergone fellowship training focusing their education specifically on the advanced knowledge and skills needed to treat specific areas of the body or injuries and conditions relating to a specific medical specialty, such as joint replacements. At Southern Indiana Orthopedics, you are in excellent hands because our anterior hip replacement surgeons, Dr. Matthew Lovell, Dr. Darryl Tannenbaum, and Dr. Eric Tannenbaum, are specialty-trained and have the advanced knowledge and skills to treat your injury or condition individually to meet your needs.
To consult with our Southern Indiana Orthopedics specialists about your treatment options, please request an appointment online or call (812) 376-9353. You can learn more about the conditions we treat through our patient education resources.