Total hip replacement is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the country. It is estimated that 95 percent of all patients who have hip replacement surgery are pleased with their results. The most common reason patients require hip replacements is pain.
There are multiple approaches to performing hip replacements. Recently, the minimally invasive direct anterior hip replacement has gained popularity amongst patients choosing to undergo hip replacement surgery. The direct anterior approach to hip replacement surgery offers a number of potential benefits over other hip approaches.
First, the direct anterior approach is a minimally invasive muscle splitting approach. This means that in order to gain exposure to the hip joint, you do not cut through or release any hip muscles. Also, patients frequently have smaller incisions. This can lead to some potential benefits including
- Less pain after surgery
- Fewer narcotics consumed
- Ability to go home on the day of surgery
- Better scar cosmesis
Second, the direct anterior approach gives the surgeon ease of intraoperative imaging. A specific table is used during the procedure that allows the surgeon to take x-rays during surgery. This advantage lends itself to a more precise positioning of hip implants thus producing a more natural feeling hip.
Finally, the direct anterior approach gives patients the ability to begin their postoperative activity without hip precautions otherwise required by most hip approaches. This benefit allows patients the potential for a faster recovery and return to normal activities.
Jason Rogers, M.D.