The anterior approach to hip replacement, or total hip arthroplasty, provided through the ETMC Orthopedic Institute at ETMC Tyler, ETMC Henderson and ETMC Jacksonville, allows doctors to perform replacement surgery with a minimally invasive technique.
The surgery utilizes a smaller incision on the front or anterior of the hip rather than the back or side, and less trauma is generally caused to tissue under the skin.
Working with the smaller opening, surgeons move muscle aside with special instruments or work through available separations in muscle rather than detaching muscle from the bone.
They then rotate the femur through the available opening and replace the damaged or arthritic femoral head with an artificial ball in the traditional fashion.
Benefits of anterior approach
The patient usually experiences several benefits from the anterior approach.
- Generally the hospital stay after surgery is shorter. With traditional hip replacement, the stay is about three to five days. With anterior hip surgery, a stay of one to two days is common.
- Additionally patients experience less post-operative pain and, following the anterior approach, usually enjoy a greater range of movement almost immediately. In most cases, patients are able to use their hip normally without restrictions.
- The anterior approach also leaves a smaller surgical scar.
Not all patients are candidates for the anterior approach.