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For many patients, choosing to undergo hip replacement surgery is an important decision. However, it's not the only decision that needs to be made. Once you have decided that hip replacement surgery is right for you, you and your orthopedic surgeon need to determine which approach to hip replacement surgery is best suited for your individual needs and goals.

Like many orthopedic surgeries, a hip replacement can be performed through different surgical approaches. The three most common approaches to hip replacement are the posterior approach, lateral approach, and anterior approach. While each of these approaches is used to remove a damaged hip joint and replace it with an artificial implant, they each do so in a different way.

The main difference between the three methods is the incision location. The incisions made during the posterior approach are located on the backside of the hip. Those used in the lateral approach are placed on the side of the hip, and the incisions made during the anterior approach are made at the front of the hip.

Traditionally, orthopedic surgeons used either the posterior or lateral approach when performing a hip replacement. But, as technology and surgical techniques have evolved and advanced over the years, more hip replacements are being performed using the anterior method, as it is a minimally invasive, muscle-sparing procedure that offers many benefits.

Benefits of Anterior Hip Replacement

Because the anterior approach to total hip replacement goes in anterior to the hip, it provides orthopedic surgeons with better access to the hip joint without disrupting or cutting into the surrounding muscles, tendons, and soft tissue. This is due to the front of the hip having fewer muscles, which allows surgeons to perform a total hip replacement by working in between the muscle fibers surrounding the hip joint. It is also one of the main reasons that the anterior approach to total hip replacement provides patients with the following benefits:

  • Better range of motion
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Faster recovery
  • Fewer postoperative hip precautions during the recovery period
  • Less muscle trauma
  • Less postoperative pain
  • Lower risk of dislocation
  • Shorter hospital stay

Is Anterior Hip Replacement Right for You?

While each approach to hip replacement has the same end goal—to get you back to an active, healthy life—one approach may be better suited for you. A doctor who specializes in performing joint replacements of the hip can help you decide which surgical approach is right for you. However, total hip replacement surgery should only be considered after all applicable nonsurgical treatment options, such as anti-inflammatory medication, pain medication, or physical therapy, have been tried.

If conservative treatments have proven to be ineffective at relieving your hip pain and you are suffering from one of the following orthopedic injuries or conditions, you may be a candidate for anterior hip replacement surgery.

  • A type of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • An injury that has damaged your hip joint
  • Avascular necrosis
  • Cartilage damage
  • Femoral head fracture
  • Hip pain that interferes with your daily life
  • Pelvis fracture

To determine if the anterior approach to hip replacement is right for you, request a consultation with our joint replacement expert by requesting an appointment online or calling (810) 985-4900.

Why Choose Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron for Anterior Hip Replacement?

Our joint replacement expert, Scott M. Heithoff, D.O., is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic specialist who has completed extensive training in adult reconstructive surgery. Having dedicated his practice to helping patients with joint-related disorders, Dr. Heithoff is highly skilled at evaluating, diagnosing, and treating injuries and conditions relating to the hip joint. He is committed to working with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that meets your needs as well as helps you get back to a life renewed.

To consult with our joint replacement surgeon who specializes in performing anterior hip replacements, please request an appointment online or call (810) 985-4900.