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Anterior Hip Replacement

St. Mary's Offers Anterior Approach Hip Replacement Surgery

Watch our recorded educational seminar offering information about anterior hip replacement surgery.St. Mary's Joint Replacement Solutions program is the only facility in the tri-state offering Anterior Approach Hip Replacement surgery. This procedure is less invasive, therefore minimizing pain, muscle trauma, recovery time and less risk of dislocation. 

Using a specially designed surgical table (Mizuho OSI PROfx), this surgery is done through the anterior side (front) of the hip as opposed to the lateral (side) or posterior (back) approach. The hip is replaced through a single front incision without the detachment of muscles from the pelvis or femur during surgery, but rather by working through a natural interval between muscles.

The gluteal muscles, the ones most important for hip function, are left undisturbed and, therefore, do not require a healing process to recover from surgical trauma. Lack of disturbance of the lateral and posterior soft tissues accounts for immediate hip stability after surgery and a lower risk of dislocation compared to the posterior or lateral approaches.

Conventional (lateral/posterior) hip replacement surgery requires that muscle and tendon be detached or split making it necessary for the patient to adhere to strict "hip precautions" (range of motion restrictions) for the first 6-8 weeks after surgery to prevent dislocation of the hip while the soft tissues heal and muscles strengthen. Hip flexion is limited to no more than 90 degrees, no pivoting or twisting of the leg is allowed, and you cannot cross your legs or ankles during this time.

These restrictions complicate activities such as sitting, dressing, and getting into or out of vehicles. They also make it necessary to use specialized medical equipment that assist you with getting dressed or raising the height of toilet seats.

Anterior hip replacement patients do not have any restrictions placed upon their motion, which allows them a more rapid return to normal function. They are able to sit, bend, move, sleep and cross their legs however they want without any cumbersome hip precautions to remember. Other than a rolling walker and/or cane, there is no special medical equipment required since full motion of the hip is allowed.

Though anterior hip replacement surgery offers several advantages, there are some potential risks as compared to the lateral/posterior approaches. There is increased risk of femur fracture during surgery due positioning of the leg required for the surgical procedure. Also, there is slightly more risk of cutaneous (skin) nerve damage.

Not all patients are candidates for anterior approach hip replacement, and not all surgeons are trained to perform this type of surgery. Please speak with your surgeon to determine if you are eligible and if they offer the anterior approach hip replacement. 

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