Latest Advancements Anterior Hip Replacement
An Alternative Approach to Total Hip Replacement Surgery
Total hip replacement surgery involves replacing the hip’s ball and socket joint. Traditionally, surgeons use a posterior approach to the hip to remove muscle and tendon from the bone. This destabilizes the hip and requires restrictions after surgery that affect the way people sit, stand and move.
The direct anterior approach to hip replacement surgery, on the other hand, has noticeable differences. Because the surgery is performed without muscle damage or detachment, patients experience less pain and faster recoveries. It is a tissue sparing procedure, with the approach to the hip joint coming from the front rather than the back.
The anterior approach was first performed in Europe in 1947. Introduced in the United States in 1996 in Los Angeles, the technique today has been refined so that thousands of hip replacement patients have benefited from this minimally invasive approach.
How It Works: Surgeons use a natural division between muscles and do not remove or detach tendons or muscles from either the pelvis or femur. As a result, there is no need to cut, split or detach muscles. The most important muscles for hip function and walking, the gluteal or abductor muscles, are left undisturbed and, therefore, do not require healing time to recover from surgical trauma.
A special high-tech orthopedic operating table (the PRO fx) at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center helps make this approach possible, enabling surgery with less tension on tissues and a smaller incision. A smaller table (the HANA) is used at the Shea Medical Center and Thompson Peak hospital. The anterior approach requires no hip precautions or restrictions, and since muscles remain intact, hip dislocation rates are reduced.
With less dislocation risk, patients generally have no limitations or restrictions after surgery and can bend their hips freely and immediately. When comfortable, many patients can bear full weight.
The same artificial implants as in the posterior approach are used; however, the use of digital pre-operative planning and intra-operative x-ray during surgery allows for more consistent and accurate restoration of the hip anatomy and leg lengths.
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