Anterior Total Hip Replacements

What are the advantages of anterior total hip replacement surgery?

It is not surprising that total joint replacement surgeries, or joint arthroplasty, has become so common. Not only are they relatively cost effective, they also enjoy a very high success rate. Here in the U.S., more than a million are performed each year, with that number expected to explode to somewhere in the range of 4 million by the year 2030. Of that annual million, roughly a third are total hip replacements. 

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint found where the top of the thigh bone and pelvis come together and is one of the body’s primary weight-bearing joints. When trauma or disease has caused the hip joint to deteriorate, total hip replacement surgery is often the best option for reducing pain and restoring function. Some of the more common causes for hip deterioration are:

  • Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Avascular necrosis, which is bone loss due to insufficient blood supply
  • Injuries, such as fractures.
  • Bone tumors 

There are different approaches to total hip replacement surgery, but the goal of all of them is the same. The damaged bone and cartilage is removed. Then a new socket made of metal is put in, as well as a metal or ceramic ball that is attached to the head of the femur. The cartilage loss is then compensated for with plastic that acts as a spacer and facilitates smooth movement.

What Are the Advantages of the Anterior Total Hip Replacement Approach?

Anterior total hip replacements are experiencing a surge in popularity as part of an overall effort to reduce the trauma of surgery by being as minimally invasive as possible. Proponents of the anterior approach believe this is accomplished mainly by the difference in incision entry point. By entering from the front of the hip there is no need to cut through major muscle tissue as is done with posterior hip replacement surgery. Plus, the anterior entry may allow for a smaller incision.

Advocates of anterior total hip replacement surgery believe the entry point difference results in the following advantages for the patient:

  • Less muscle damage
  • Less pain
  • Speedier recovery
  • Less risk of hip dislocation that can result from cutting through surrounding muscle and tissue during surgery    
  • Range of motion returned quicker because less restrictions on movement required post-surgery    
  • Improved positioning of the components and restoration of anatomic relationships  

Both Anterior and Posterior approaches have  benefits and risks. The most important consideration when thinking about joint replacement surgery is your comfort in your orthopedic surgeon and their experience . This is where you will get the best guidance with regard to the procedure that will be best for your own individual situation. 

If you have questions about hip replacement surgery or any other orthopedic concerns, the physicians and staff of Orthopaedic & Sports Associates of Long Island are very experienced in a wide range of orthopedic conditions and are committed to providing personalized care in a state-of-the-art facility. To schedule an appointment, or if you just have questions, please use our convenient online contact form by clicking here.

Posted in: Hip

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