A hip replacement is recommended to patients who have advanced hip arthritis, where the pain is unbearable and mobility is severely limited. Hip replacement surgery has two main approaches: posterior (from the back) and anterior (from the front).
An anterior hip replacement surgery is advantageous for those who are of normal weight, have no femur (upper leg bone) deformities, have a normal-sized pelvis, and have no existing metal implants in the hip. Let’s talk about what’s involved in this operation, some of the main reasons why it is the preferred method over the posterior approach when possible, and where you can go right here in Naples for an efficient evaluation and treatment of your hip pain.
What Happens During Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery?
In hip replacement surgery with an anterior approach, you will be lying down on your back. Your orthopedic surgeon is able to easily access your hip joint by making an incision on the upper thigh. (The anterior approach usually allows for a smaller incision than the posterior approach.)
The surgeon then accesses the hip joint by moving the tensor fascia latae muscle and other tissues out of the way. The surgeon will only need to move the muscles and not cut them, which will therefore preserve them and not injure them – and this is one of the key benefits of this approach.
The surgeon then has a good view of the hip joint via the anterior approach. Live fluoroscopic X-ray video is used to guide the placement of the hip prosthesis. The surgeon then removes the damaged cartilage, femoral head, and pelvic bone tissue, and replaces it with a prosthetic hip joint.
Advantages of the Anterior Approach
There are several advantages to anterior hip replacement surgery as compared to the posterior or side approaches:
- Less muscle trauma (no need to cut into muscle in order to access the hip joint)
- Less pain (due to smaller incisions and less disturbance to nearby tissue)
- Shorter hospital stay
- Faster recovery (assistive devices are needed for a shorter amount of time than with the posterior approach)
- Less reliance on pain medication
- Fewer postoperative precautions (fewer movement restrictions and greater functionality during recovery)
For anterior hip replacement surgery to be successful, it has to be performed by a joint replacement surgeon who is highly skilled in the anterior approach. This is a more complicated operation than when it is done via the posterior approach, so be sure to check your prospective surgeon’s credentials and past surgical experience.
Hip Replacement Surgeon in Naples, FL
At the Joint Replacement Institute, we will assess whether you are a good candidate for anterior hip replacement surgery or whether a different treatment would be better for you. Our orthopedic surgeons have many years of successful experience in performing both the posterior and anterior approaches to hip surgery. For post-op rehabilitation, we also offer on-site physical therapy services.
To schedule a consultation with one of our hip replacement experts, call our Naples orthopedic clinic today at (239) 261-2663 or fill out our online request form now. We look forward to helping you get back to your active lifestyle!