What is Hip Replacement?
Hip replacement is a common total joint procedure that can have a life-changing impact on a patient suffering from severe hip pain. These procedures deliver pain relief and restore quality of life, allowing patients to get back to doing what they love and improve their range of motion in the hip area. Hip replacement can be beneficial for those facing hip damage due to trauma or degenerative diseases, such as hip arthritis. There are several different approaches to hip replacement, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
If your orthopaedic surgeon feels that hip replacement is the best next step for you, they will walk you through your options and ensure that all of your questions are answered every step of the way. One of the surgical options we specialize in at OrthoGeorgia is the direct anterior hip approach – a minimally invasive option for performing hip replacement surgery. Learn more below and contact your nearest OrthoGeorgia location to schedule an appointment with one of our total joint specialists today!
What is the Direct Anterior Approach to Hip Replacement?
The direct anterior approach to hip replacement has been in use for several decades and has gained popularity among surgeons in recent years. This approach allows your surgeon to access the hip through the front of the body rather than on the side of the hip. The direct anterior approach is a “muscle-sparing” technique because it does not involve cutting through muscles and tendons to reach the damaged hip. Accessing the hip through the front of the body allows the surgeon to move past the muscles and ligaments without damaging them and needing to repair them later on. Once the hip implant is in place, the surrounding muscles are moved back into their proper position. This procedure has several additional benefits for patients, making it a great option for many patients seeking relief from hip pain.
What are the Advantages of the Direct Anterior Approach?
As mentioned earlier, the direct anterior approach to hip replacement is considered a minimally invasive procedure, requiring incisions of only three to four inches compared to up to 12 inches with the traditional approach. Your surgeon will not need to cut through the surrounding muscles and tendons to reach the hip, which results in a quicker recovery and less postoperative pain. Patients who undergo hip replacement using the direct anterior approach often go home from the hospital sooner and reach physical therapy milestones more quickly. In fact, some patients may be able to heal properly without an extensive physical therapy routine. The direct anterior hip approach also allows patients to return to their daily activities shortly after surgery, with a reduced risk of hip dislocation. However, you should always follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding your recovery timeline and when you can safely resume your regular activities.
Hip Replacement at OrthoGeorgia Using the Direct Anterior Approach
Before Your Hip Replacement
Preparation for a hip replacement using the direct anterior approach is similar to preparation for other methods of hip replacement. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to prepare during the days and hours leading up to your procedure. They will walk you through your anesthesia options, which will likely include general or regional, as well as the benefits of the anterior approach to hip replacement and what you can expect after your surgery. A hip replacement can be scheduled whenever it makes the most sense for the patient and their recovery timeline, as it is a procedure to improve quality of life over anything else.
During Your Hip Replacement
The direct anterior approach to hip replacement involves an incision in the front of the thigh over the hip joint, with a typical length of around three to four inches. Your surgeon will work around the nearby muscles and tendons to reach and remove the arthritic portions of the hip and clean up the socket. From there, they will work on placing the implant and completing the procedure. The direct anterior hip approach takes around one to two hours. Since this is a technically complex procedure, you should work with a joint replacement specialist to ensure the best possible results.
After Your Hip Replacement
After your hip replacement using the direct anterior approach, your surgeon will guide you regarding your recovery timeline and the post-operative steps you need to take. Most patients are able to try walking with a cane the day of their surgery or the following day, with this minimally invasive surgical approach allowing the patient more independence during their recovery. The anterior surgical approach is associated with less post-operative pain in the first two to four weeks of recovery. If physical therapy is needed as part of your recovery plan, you can work with one of our orthopaedic rehabilitation specialists at OrthoGeorgia, who will create a personalized therapy plan for you.
Other Joint Replacement Procedures We Offer in Central GA
At OrthoGeorgia, we understand the life-changing impact that a successful joint replacement surgery can have on a patient and their daily life. These procedures help those who are battling chronic pain or joint disability to live fuller and more active lives, and we are proud to support our patients in any way we can. Our joint replacement specialists perform all types of joint replacement procedures in Central GA, focusing on various joints throughout the body to bring our patients the pain relief they are seeking. Our specialties include: