Hip pain and stiffness limits mobility and diminishes your quality of life. No matter the cause – arthritis, injury, lifestyle-related trauma – if non-surgical approaches like physical therapy or anti-inflammatory medications do not effectively resolve your pain, hip replacement at an outpatient hip center may be your best option to help you feel new again.
When considering any surgery it’s wise to educate yourself on the various approaches and possible outcomes. Details about the procedure, pain levels and medications, recovery timeline and precautions, risks and aesthetics are likely to be factors in your decision making process. Early on in your discovery process it may be beneficial to determine whether or not you are a candidate for an anterior approach hip replacement.
Direct Anterior Approach to Total Hip Replacement (Arthroplasty)
The Direct Anterior Approach for total hip replacement is a tissue-sparing alternative to traditional hip replacement surgery that provides improvements for the patient:
- the potential for less post-operative pain
- potential for less blood loss
- decreased hospital stay and quicker recovery
- less anesthesia and complications due to prolonged anesthesia use
- improved mobility because the muscle tissues are spared during the surgical procedure
- range of motion assessment during surgical procedure (Dr. Kornreich moves the leg and hip joint before completely closing up the incision to test and confirm full range-of-motion for the patient).
The technique allows our surgeons to work between the patient‘s muscles and tissues without detaching them from either the hip or thighbones—sparing the tissue from trauma. Keeping the muscles intact may also help to prevent dislocations.
With the Anterior Approach, one small incision on the front (anterior) of your hip as opposed to the side or back.
Since the incision is in front, the patient avoids the pain of sitting on the incision site.
During this procedure the damaged bone and cartilage is removed and replaced with prosthetic components. The damaged femoral head is removed and replaced with a metal stem that is placed into the hollow center of the femur. The femoral stem may be either cemented or “press fit” into the bone. A metal or ceramic ball is placed on the upper part of the stem. This ball replaces the damaged femoral head that was removed.
The damaged cartilage surface of the socket (acetabulum) is removed and replaced with a metal socket. Screws or cement are sometimes used to hold the socket in place. A plastic, ceramic, or metal spacer is inserted between the new ball and the socket to allow for a smooth gliding surface.
How long it takes to recover and resume your daily activities will depend on several factors, including your general health and the type of surgical procedure you have. Initially, you may need a cane, walker, or crutches to walk, and physical therapy to help you regain strength in your hip and to restore range of motion.