A traditional hip replacement treatment requires a 6-8 week recovery period and often an overnight stay in the hospital immediately following the procedure. Anterior hip replacement surgery bypasses damage to the surrounding muscle tissue, reducing recovery times to just 1 week.
What is Anterior Hip Replacement?
Anterior hip replacement surgery is the process of entering through the front of the body to replace the hip bone.
Without detachment of muscle from pelvis or femur, gluteal muscle untouched, most important muscles for hip mobility.
Advantages of Anterior Hip Replacement
Even the most successful treatment methods deserve a close examination from time to time to evaluate what can be done to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the procedure. That is the origin of anterior hip replacement surgery.
Before, lateral (through the side of the body) hip replacement was the go-to method for orthopedic surgeons.
It allowed for fairly easy access to the hip bone in order to perform the necessary movements to operate on the hip bone.
Unfortunately, this required doctors to remove/detach tissue from the gluteal, femur or pelvis muscles, leading to lengthy recovery periods, painful recovery and left patients susceptible to further hip malfunction.
Through deep analysis of the hip replacement process, doctors realized that they could operate within a space between the muscles by entering through the front of the body. This process provides these distinct advantages:
- Little to no damage to major muscles – Lateral hip replacement required doctors to cut through major muscles in order to access the hip joint. This was painful, extended the recovery period and left patients susceptible to hip dislocations due to the weakened muscles.
- Faster recovery – Anterior hip replacements offer a much shorter recovery period (1 week) because it does not damage muscle tissue. Patients will not have to stay overnight and can return home the same day as the procedure.
- Decreased risk of hip dislocation – Without tearing the muscles that hold the hip ball in its socket, anterior hip replacement patients will have stronger supporting muscle tissue to prevent further hip dysfunction.
- Improved flexibility – A faster recovery period is important. It allows patients to begin reestablishing their flexibility earlier, preventing the hips from locking up. Patients can immediately begin bending at the waist or taking on weight as soon as they see fit.
Challenges of Anterior Hip Replacement
Being a newer treatment method, not all physicians will have the same experience performing an anterior hip replacement as they do performing lateral or posterior hip replacement surgeries.
An anterior hip replacement is also a more technical operation than traditional hip replacement surgeries. Only the most advanced orthopedic surgeons should perform this operation. At All-Pro Orthopedics, we have the training and experience to confidently perform anterior hip replacement surgery in Palmetto, Pembroke Pines, West Palm Beach and Hollywood.
Any hip replacement operation has the potential for wound healing complications and nerve damage. An anterior hip replacement has not shown signs of increasing the risk of these rare complications.
Anterior vs. Lateral Hip Replacements
Lateral hip replacement surgery:
- Comes through the side and requires the removal of muscle tissue
- 6-8 week recovery period that can be painful depending upon the amount of muscle tissue removed during the procedure
- The patient stays overnight in the hospital to recover from initial surgery
- Patient susceptible to hip dislocation if the muscles do not heal quick enough to hold the new hip ball within the socket
Anterior hip replacement surgery:
- Small incision through the front of the body
- 1 week recovery period
- No overnight stay, the patient returns home after the operation
- No damage to or removal of vital muscle tissue
- The patient can bend and utilize hip joint as they see fit following the procedure
Am I a Candidate for Anterior Hip Replacement?
Most patients that are eligible for traditional hip replacement surgery are also eligible for anterior hip replacement surgery. Due to the nature of entering through the front of the body and operating between muscle tissue, patients that are obese or highly muscular may not be suitable candidates for anterior hip replacement. The extra tissue in both patients can make it challenging to access the hip bone without having to remove tissue. If removing of tissue is required, utilizing traditional lateral hip replacement is more suitable for these patients.
Ultimately you will want to meet with an orthopedic surgeon or sports medicine specialist to see if anterior hip replacement is right for you. You can contact one of our friendly appointment specialists at (954) 399-5976 to schedule your initial consultation.