Anterior Hip Replacement
Anterior Hip Replacement is a minimally invasive muscle sparing surgery. This approach is an alternative to traditional hip replacement surgery. Traditionally, the surgeon makes the hip incision laterally (on the side of the hip) or posteriorly (at the back of the hip). The lateral and posterior approaches involve cutting major muscles to access the hip joint. With the anterior approach, the incision is made in front of the hip enabling the surgeon to access the hip joint without cutting any muscles. A special operating table may be used to help position the patient and enable the surgeon to replace the hip joint anteriorly.
Potential benefits of anterior hip replacement compared to the traditional hip replacement surgery, may include:
- Smaller incision
- Minimal soft tissue trauma
- Reduced post operative pain
- Less blood loss
- Shorter surgical time
- Faster healing time
- Less scarring
- Earlier mobilization
- Less post-operative restrictions
- Reduced hip dislocations
- Decreased hospital stay
After a traditional hip replacement, your surgeon would give you instructions on hip precautions to prevent dislocating the new joint. Hip precautions are very restrictive and usually include the following:
- Avoid the combined movement of bending your hip and turning in your foot.
- You should sleep with a pillow between your legs for 6 weeks.
- Avoid crossing your legs and bending your hip past a right angle.
- Avoid low chairs.
- Avoid bending over to pick things up. Grabbers are helpful as are shoe horns or slip on shoes.
- An elevated toilet seat should be used.
For Anterior Hip Replacement patients, hip precautions are unnecessary. Because the muscles are not cut, the risk of dislocation is decreased and permits much more freedom of movement after surgery. Rehabilitation is much faster for patients due to less muscle trauma during the surgery.