Hip Replacement (Anterior Approach) Q&A with Dr. Larson Hip Health
Hip Replacement (Anterior Approach) Q&A with Dr. Larson

Dr. Darin Larson

Talk about how hip replacement has evolved to the point where we can perform them through the anterior approach:

“Hip replacement initially started out where patients would be in the hospital for a couple of weeks after surgery. They wouldn’t be able to put weight on the leg. That’s evolved to include better techniques, better anesthesia, better pain control – where patients can get out of the hospital the next day or even the same day as surgery. Recently within the last couple decades, there’s been an advancement with anterior hip replacement. It includes making an incision on the front side of the hip as opposed to the back or the side which was how it was classically performed. Studies have shown that this approach does promote a faster rate of healing in the first six weeks. Long term, there’s not really any significant differences in function of the total hip replacement, but particularly for those first six weeks where it might be a little more painful for folks, the anterior hip replacement is a pretty good option.”

What are the benefits of having your hip replacement through the anterior approach?

“With the anterior approach we go between muscles as opposed to through muscles like we do with other approaches. So, it’s a little bit nicer to the soft tissues in that regard. If you’re concerned about how the incision is going to look, it might look a little bit nicer on the front side – again, that’s just kind of an individualized preference as far as where you’d like to have that incision. Stability wise, it’s very stable – we’re less concerned for dislocation as opposed to other approaches. Again, with recovery time, studies have shown that within the first six weeks anterior hip replacements tend to promote a little bit faster recovery. Long-term, recovery tends to even out as far as anterior, posterior and lateral approaches are concerned. But particularly within those first six weeks, where patients might be a little bit sorer after surgery and it may be a little tougher getting going those first six weeks, the anterior approach could make a huge difference.”