What is the Anterior Approach Total Hip Replacement?

Since more conservative treatments haven’t worked to ease your pain and lack of mobility, you have decided to opt for a total hip replacement. Your doctor has probably told you about the various options you can choose from. One is called the total hip replacement anterior approach. Just what is it?

A total hip replacement replaces the ball of your hip and part of the femur with a ceramic or metal prosthetic. In an anterior approach, the surgeon installs the prosthetic through the front of your hip.

The advantages of total hip replacement anterior approach is that the surgeon doesn’t need to make as long an incision as with other approaches. There is less trauma to the muscles in your hip and after the surgery is over you’ll have less pain and a shorter and easier recovery period. You won’t need to stay in the hospital as long and there’s less of a chance that the prosthetic will dislocate in the future.

You’ll prepare for the surgery well in advance. If you smoke, your doctor will tell you to stop, permanently. They will take your medical history, including the problems with your hip. They’ll take an X-ray of your hip and check your heart to make sure that there are no problems with your heart rhythm.

The surgery is done under general anesthesia or regional anesthesia. During general anesthesia you are completely asleep, but during regional anesthesia you are awake but can’t feel anything beneath your waist. You will probably also receive IV sedation with a regional anesthesia to help you stay relaxed. The medical staff will monitor your vital signs.

When you are ready, the surgical staff cleans and shaves the surgical site, and the surgeon makes an incision in the front of your hip. They’ll separate the muscles to expose the hip joint so they can take out the upper part of your femur, the hip joint itself and any damaged bone.

The prosthetic is then inserted, and the surgeon uses an X-ray to make sure it is in place. The surgical wound is then sutured.

When the surgery is done, you’ll be wheeled into a recovery room. When your anesthesia wears off you’ll be given painkillers and anti-nausea meds if you need them. When the staff determines that all is well, they’ll take you to your hospital room. You may be fitted with compression bandages to reduce the risk of blood clots and be taught techniques to clear your lungs to reduce the risk of pneumonia. The doctor and the staff will X-ray your hip again to make sure that all is well. You’ll be able to go home after a night or two in the hospital.

You’ll need to prepare your home for your recovery. You might want to invest in a grabber that saves you from bending or reaching to retrieve objects in the back of cabinets or on high shelves. You might want to prepare a bedside desk with reading materials ad other necessary items, or install grab bars in your bathroom.

Call POSMC today!

To schedule an appointment with one our specialists, contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.

POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!