Direct Anterior Hip Replacement
Direct anterior hip replacement offers many advantages when compared to traditional hip replacement surgery. Although the implants are similarly designed for both techniques, the anterior or ‘through the front’ approach has superior benefits for the patient. Patients have an accelerated recovery with reduced pain and physical therapy requirements. Fewer complications including dislocations and leg-length differences occur with surgery from the front.
To best perform an anterior approach hip replacement, a specially designed surgical table called the PRO-fx operating table is essential. This table allows for precise control over the patient’s hip that typical surgical tables don’t permit. During the procedure, a surgeon uses x-rays to properly place the implants in the exact position. Doing so reproduces the patient’s natural hip anatomy and leg length.
After the anterior approach surgery, patients have a quicker recovery than traditional hip replacement patients and are frequently discharged from the hospital after only one to three days. The key to this rapid recovery centers on the fact that no muscles or tendons are cut or removed during the surgery. This is in direct contrast to traditional hip replacement surgery which requires cutting through both muscle and tendon making the hip more unstable. Traditional surgery also results in more pain, restrictions on movement, and a significantly longer recovery period.
With the anterior approach, physical therapy begins as early as the same day with sitting, standing and walking. The need for a walker or crutches is greatly reduced. The direct anterior hip replacement is more stable and patients do not have limitations in function or movement. A major concern for many patients relates to sexual activity. With the anterior approach, patients may resume normal sexual activity as soon as they feel ready to do so.
As a result of these benefits, patients are back to golfing, swimming, biking, skiing and other activities in just weeks following surgery.