What is Anterior Approach Hip Replacement?

Arthritis of the hip joint can be an extremely debilitating condition. When the cartilage is lost on the surface of the ball and socket that make up the hip joint and "bone on bone" pain develops, many patients are unsatisfied with their quality of life. Many of my patients find that this may be developing earlier in life than they expected. They think of hip replacement surgery as something that their parents or grandparents might undergo.

However, there are differences in the recovery and limitations depending on the approach used for surgery as well as a number of other factors. The anterior approach to the hip has been around for over a hundred years, but it is only over the last decade or so that it has been used for hip replacement. The approach provides good options for the properly trained surgeon to safely and effectively perform a rapid recovery hip replacement. The early pain control and function is improved compared to more traditional methods. The rate of dislocation is lower with an anterior approach surgery as it allows no specific restrictions to be placed on hip motion after surgery. The only rule is comfort, i.e. if a position or activity isn't comfortable the patient shouldn't do it yet. Most if not all of my patients will be able to walk, go up and down stairs, sit in a chair and take care of themselves from the moment they wake up from surgery. Many patients are ready to safely return home the same or next day after the procedure, which is the best place for recovery.

Hip replacement surgery can be a great solution for patients with chronic "bone on bone" arthritis pain and a rapid recovery is possible with the appropriate preparation and education prior to surgery.

Dr. Adam Sunderland specializes in the hip and knee, joint replacement, and orthopaedic trauma injuries. He treats patients in Austell, Douglasville, and West Cobb locations.

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