Anterior Approach to Total Hip Replacement
About Hip Arthritis
The hip is a ball and socket joint. The ball (femoral head) is covered
with a layer of smooth cartilage. The socket (acetabulum) is also covered
with a layer of smooth cartilage. In addition, there is a piece of cartilage
that surrounds the periphery of the socket (labrum) and acts to help maintain
a seal on the hip joint. The end result is smooth cartilage for a normal
and healthy joint function.
Arthritis is the destruction of the normal cartilage.
The most common form known as Osteoarthritis, where the cartilage gradually
thins and eventually the joint becomes bone-on-bone. There are many other
reasons for destruction of cartilage such as inflammatory disease (e.g.
rheumatoid arthritis), previous fracture or dislocation (post traumatic
arthritis) or loss of blood supply (osteoncronosis) to name a few.
The end results in all of these conditions is the same: destruction of
the joint surfaces leading to pain, inflammation and difficulty with performing
normal activities, including walking, sitting and sleeping.
About Anterior Total Hip Replacement
Anterior total hip replacement, also known as hip arthroplasty, is a technique
where an incision is made on the front of the hip and surgery is done
between the muscles. In contrast, the traditional posterior approach for
hip replacement, required an incision along the side of the hipand the
surgery is done through the buttock muscle (gluteus maximus), which can
be a longer recovery for the patient and require more physical therapy
to regain previous range of motion and movement.
Studies have demonstrated an advantage in pain relief and improved function,
specifically in the first 2 weeks following surgery.
Anterior hip replacement surgery utilizes special instrumentation and operating
room table to facilitate the procedure.
Recovery Following Anterior Hip Arthroplasty
Depending on the patient's age and prepoperative activity level will
determine how long a patient will stay in the hospital which can be one
or two nights following surgery. For healthy and motivated patients, the
Enhanced Recovery Program allows patients to go home the same day of their procedure.
Is the Anterior Approach right for me?
Multiple factors determine whether you are eligible to safely undergo Anterior
hip replacement procedure, including your overall health, age, weight
(Body Mass Index), the severity of arthritis, and previous operations
on the hip. You and your surgeon will discuss these factors to determine
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