Is an anterior hip replacement right for you?
Once only performed on elderly adults, hip replacement surgery is becoming more common for middle-aged Americans. Each year about 350,000 hip replacements are performed in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Physical therapy, medication and injections to help manage pain can be effective, but they don’t always provide long-term relief for arthritis and hip pain. Eventually all the cartilage in the hip can wear away, making a hip replacement the best option for long-term relief of severe arthritis or hip pain.
There are three different types of hip replacement surgeries. These include operating through the front of the hip (also known as the anterior approach), the side of the hip or the back of the hip (the posterior approach). The most common type of hip replacement is the posterior approach; in performing this procedure, the gluteus maximus muscle is split.
Some of the benefits of the anterior approach include less muscular trauma, which allows for a quicker and earlier recovery time, early research shows.
“An anterior approach is performed through a small four-inch incision at a natural seam between two muscle groups, which spread apart like curtains in a window,” explains Dr. Justin LaReau, an orthopedic surgeon at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill.
After anterior approach hip replacement surgery patients are able to return to activities they loved without the hip pain they previously experienced.
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