Surgical Approaches for Total Hip Replacement
There are several surgical methodologies (approaches) for total hip replacements: from the front (anterior), from the back (posterior), and the side (lateral). No matter the approach, hip replacement surgery includes the replacement of the joint’s damaged cartilage and bone with implants.
The decision as to which surgery will be best for you will be determined through physical examinations, diagnostic imaging (X-rays, CT-scans, etc.) and discussions with your surgeon.
Of course, you will discuss these options with your surgeon to determine which is best for your specific health status, condition and anatomy.
General information about each approach:
Direct Anterior Approach
In the anterior approach, the surgeon accesses the hip joint by entering through the front of the body and going between the hip muscles that help hold the hip joint in place. Smaller incisions (using minimally invasive surgical techniques) are often possible with this procedure versus traditional hip surgery.
The anterior approach to total hip replacement is becoming more popular because it is less invasive, hospital stays are shorter, and recovery and rehabilitation are quicker for patients.
Back or Posterior Approach
In the posterior approach, the “traditional” hip replacement surgery, an incision of eight-ten inches is made beside or behind the hip joint. The surgeon must go through muscle and detach the muscles from the “ball and socket” of the hip joint.
This approach gives the surgeon excellent access to the joint, preserves the hip abductor muscles and minimizes the risk of abductor dysfunction post-operatively.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Hip replacement surgery can be performed using minimally invasive techniques. This approach enables the surgeon enters the hip joint through one to two small cuts which results in less blood loss, less pain, shorter hospital stays, less scarring. It can also speed the healing process. Surgeons often use minimally invasive techniques through the anterior approach.
Robotic assisted surgical techniques, with the use of advanced computer systems and robotic instrumentation, help the surgeon to plan and execute a surgical procedure that is truly specific to your condition and anatomy resulting in improved joint function.
To read more about total hip replacement surgical techniques, please consult one of the Internet-based resources below: