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6 Benefits of Direct Anterior Hip Replacement

6 Benefits of Direct Anterior Hip Replacement

If you have injured your hip or are suffering from degenerative joint disease causing significant hip pain and limitation of movement with little or no relief from conservative therapy, you may be a candidate for a hip replacement procedure. In the past, hip replacement surgery was considered an option only for older individuals; however, with the recent advances in surgical procedures and implants, a greater number of young adults are undergoing the procedure with good results. One such advance in technique is the direct anterior hip replacement surgery.

Direct anterior hip replacement surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that greatly diminishes the amount of trauma caused to the surrounding structures during hip replacement. The benefits of this procedure over traditional hip replacement include:

  • Smaller Skin Incisions: The direct anterior hip replacement surgery can be performed through a small skin incision made in the front of the hip. This results in less scarring of the surgical wound and quicker healing as opposed to traditional hip replacement surgery which requires a large incision.
  • Less Injury to the Surrounding Muscles and Tendons: During the traditional hip replacement surgery, significant cutting of the hip musculature must be performed to expose the hip joint and following placement of the implant, the muscles and tendons need to be reattached and take time to heal. Using the direct anterior approach, the muscles can be spread apart or moved out of the way without cutting to expose the hip joint and the muscles are then returned to their original position after the implant placement. Since the muscles are not damaged they remain strong and provide good stability to the new joint.
  • Decreased Likelihood of Postoperative Complications: The chances of bleeding and infection are greatly reduced due the tissue-sparing nature of the direct anterior hip replacement surgery. There is also reduced postoperative pain.
  • Early Mobilization: Due to the minimal excision of muscles and tendons, most patients will be able to stand and walk with or without assistance in a relatively short period.
  • Shorter Stay in the Hospital: Most patients will be discharged home within 1-2 days and can independently carry out their activities of daily living.
  • Faster Return to Your Daily Routine: With traditional hip surgery, you must take several precautions in terms of sitting and lying positions so that you do not damage the newly implanted joint. These restrictions do not apply to the anterior approach giving you more freedom during the postoperative phase.

The direct anterior hip replacement surgery is the result of an evolution in technology and instrumentation to provide safer and faster outcomes from hip replacement surgery.

Erik N. Zeegen, M.D., a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, is one of Southern California’s leading joint replacement surgeons. His practice is focused on hip and knee replacement surgery, including revising hip and knee replacements that have failed.