Q&A Topic: Anterior Hip Replacement

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Eric L. Grossman, MD, FAAOS

Q. Can you explain the Anterior Approach to total hip replacement?

A. The Anterior Approach enters the hip joint in the front of the hip between muscles rather than detaching tendons on the side of the hip, as is done with a traditional posterior approach hip replacement. The Anterior Approach results in significantly less muscle dissection, less pain, and allows for a more rapid mobilization and recovery.

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Q. What are the advantages of the Anterior Approach?

A. A more rapid recovery—all patients stand and walk the same day of their surgery. Typical length of stay in the hospital is 24 hours for most age ranges, with some patients discharged home the same day of surgery. Nearly all patients are able to go directly home and do not need inpatient rehabilitation. This rapid recovery can be attributed to the separating of the muscles with the Anterior Approach, rather than detaching them, and in particular, sparing of the gluteal muscles, which are your major walking muscles. Additionally, patients are at low risk for hip dislocation with the Anterior Approach and therefore, do not need to follow restrictive “hip precautions” that are required with other hip replacement approaches. This allows for a more natural and comfortable recovery. Patients are able to return to normalcy quicker—including returning to desired activities and work sooner. At Northern Westchester Hospital, intraoperative imaging is used with the Anterior Approach to ensure accurate implant sizing and positioning. This is not easily done with traditional approaches, but it ultimately optimizes the durability and longevity of the surgical outcome.

Q. The Anterior Approach sounds ideal. Is there any reason it should not be used?

A. In the hands of an experienced surgeon, the Anterior Approach can be used for nearly all first-time hip replacements and even some “redo,” or revision, hip replacements. You should discuss your options with an experienced surgeon who specializes in this method of hip replacement, as this technique requires specialized training.

Learn More About Dr. Grossman
Co-Director of Total Joint Replacement, Orthopedic & Spine Institute
Northern Westchester Hospital

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The Anterior Approach to Hip Replacement

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