The Anterior Approach To Hip Replacement Surgery
Hip replacement surgery requires the replacement of the top of the thigh bone as well as the socket of the pelvis. The damaged hip joint is then replaced with prosthetic components. This procedure is done to reduce pain and to improve hip function. With the traditional posterior (back of the joint) approach, the surgeon must cut through muscle and soft tissues in order to reach the joint. This creates a much larger incision, and the muscles must be repaired and reattached after the procedure. Since the muscles require significant healing time, the risk of future dislocation is greater.
Why Anterior Hip Replacement May Be a Better Option
Anterior hip replacement is a minimally invasive option for hip replacement surgery when compared to the posterior procedure. Even though this is not a new procedure, it is estimated that only 15%-20% of all hip replacements use this unique approach. Anterior (front of the joint) hip replacement surgery is done with more specialized instruments and through smaller incisions. This provides several advantages over the posterior procedure. First, this is a muscle splitting approach rather than a muscle cutting approach. The surgery is performed between a natural separation of the muscles. This allows the integrity of the hip muscles to stay in place in order to better support the newly reconstructed hip joint. Second, with anterior hip replacement there is less post-surgical pain, faster healing time, and a shorter hospital stay. The final benefit of anterior hip replacement is the decreased risk of dislocations. Since the muscles were not cut, there is less healing involved. After the healing process is complete, the patient will enjoy a better range of motion as well.
Find Out More
Anterior hip replacement is a technically challenging procedure. Since the surgeon has a somewhat limited view of the hip joint in an anterior hip replacement surgery, it is important to consult a physician that is experienced in this procedure. Colorado Springs Orthopaedic group has two such surgeons. Call today for a consultation with Dr. Bron or Dr. Huang.