If you’ve been told you are a candidate for hip replacement surgery, you may benefit from a new minimally invasive surgical technique called Direct Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery performed by the orthopaedic surgeons at Piedmont Orthopaedic Complex in Macon. Put simply, this technique changes the direction from which an orthopedic surgeon can access your hip joint.
With the Direct Anterior approach, your specially trained orthopedic surgeon is able to repair your painful hip through a natural space between the muscles of the anterior (front) portion of the hip, rather than making the incision on the posterior (back) side, which causes damage to the muscles that make up the primary support system for the joint. These are the muscles you spend weeks and months rehabilitating after surgery.
During this procedure, after a small incision is made — typically 3 to 5 inches in length — the hip joint is exposed between the anterior muscles, without the need to cut tissue or detach tendons. Once access is gained, the arthritic femoral head and neck and the acetabulum are prepared for the insertion of the hip replacement implant, just as in a traditional procedure.
The hip replacement is comprised of metal and plastic components that replace the ball-and-socket elements of the hip joint. They are secured within the femur (thighbone) and acetabulum (hip socket) either with bone cement or by “press-fit,” meaning the implants are shaped to achieve stability without bone cement. Through the use of X-rays, physicians can ensure the implants have the proper fit and alignment to ensure comfort and a natural range-of-motion after surgery.
Advantages to utilizing the Direct Anterior approach:
This minimally invasive technique allows the surgeon to access the joint through a smaller incision, which can mean a smaller scar.
Preserving the soft tissue surrounding the joint allows for immediate stability following surgery, as well as a lower risk of dislocation, as the primary support muscles are left intact.
Patients may have a shorter hospital stay, as there are typically fewer complications and faster healing time associated with this technique.
Dr. Burnette Discusses the Direct Anterior Approach to Hip Replacement