Anterior Approach to Hip Replacement Outcomes

Each year, more than 300,000 Americans have total hip replacements. This surgery, while common, is also extensive and requires a potentially intense and lengthy recovery.

The minimally invasive direct anterior approach to hip replacement has had an extremely successful track record in returning patients to normal activity. Rather than performing the surgery posteriorly (and thus through muscle and cartilage), the anterior approach makes a smaller incision through the front, pushing the muscles aside.

A 2011 study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery found that the anterior procedure allowed for less muscle damage and inflammation, both immediately after surgery and two days after, than with the traditional posterior approach.

Anterior patients often have a better experience with physical therapy, and many start their exercises on the same day as their surgery. Patients feel stronger and experience less pain more quickly than those who have had posterior hip replacements, as their bodies do not have to also recover from the cut muscle at the point of incision.

At Bone & Joint Center, Dr. Derick Johnson is credited with bringing the anterior approach to total hip replacement to West Michigan, performing more than 1,000 of these procedures. The average length of stay for Dr. Johnson’s anterior patients is 1.21 days as opposed to the national average of traditional hip replacements at 2.19 days. Patients are discharged more quickly and have a significantly lower risk of pain and dislocation.

Contact Bone & Joint Center today to learn more about if the anterior approach is right for you.