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Anterior Hip Replacement: Everything You Need to Know

Physician helping female hip replacement surgery patient walk with the help of a walker at NY Orthopedics office.

Anterior Hip Replacement: Everything You Need to Know

Hip replacement is sometimes necessary to repair worn-out or damaged hip joints. Anterior hip replacement is a minimally invasive way to perform this repair, generally resulting in quicker recovery, less pain, and better mobility than common procedures in the past.

Read our blog to learn all the benefits of this specialized procedure.

What is Anterior Hip Replacement?

The advancement of hip replacement surgery is one of the greatest achievements in orthopedics. Over the years, doctors have developed different approaches to hip surgery, all with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Anterior hip replacement involves making a small incision near the front of the hip, which allows doctors to access the joint where they can perform reconstruction. Surgeons then remove damaged bone and cartilage that is limiting movement or causing pain, and replace the hip joint with an artificial one, resulting in more mobility.

Anterior vs. Posterior Hip Replacement

Posterior hip replacement surgery was the most common approach in the past. This procedure involves making an incision on the side of the hip, rather than the front, to reach the hip joint.

While anterior hip surgery is still the less invasive option, a doctor may opt for a posterior approach to get better access to the joint. Keep in mind, the posterior approach is still incredibly safe, and advancements over the years have improved recovery time for this procedure.

What are the Benefits of Anterior Hip Replacement?

One of the significant benefits of anterior approach is that the surgeon does not need to cut into as much tissue to reach the bone. Instead, the surgeon can simply move the muscles and tendons to the side when inserting implants. This results in faster recovery times and less pain overall.

What Are the Risks of Anterior Hip Replacement?

All surgery comes with a risk; however, advancements in hip surgery have made both anterior and posterior hip replacements among the safest procedures a patient can undergo.

One downside to anterior hip replacement is that it typically takes longer to complete the procedure, although this may depend on the surgeon.

There is also a risk of hip dislocation in both anterior and posterior procedures, especially in the weeks following the operation. However, those that undergo anterior hip replacement are less likely to experience a dislocation.

If you do receive anterior hip surgery, you may experience numbing or tingling in the weeks following the procedure. Sometimes this procedure may unintentionally damage the nerve that provides sensation to the outer skin of the thigh (otherwise known as lateral femoral-cutaneous nerve damage).

What is the Recovery Time for Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery?

Typically, patients can be up and walking within a few hours after the surgery, although they’ll likely need a walking cane or crutches for support. On average, patients will need those support devices for about one to two weeks.

In some cases, physical therapy is required to get back to full mobility. Overall, both posterior and anterior hip replacement recovery rates take about three to six months before patients can fully return to active sports.

NY Orthopedics has multiple clinics across New York and an office in New Jersey with physicians who specialize in both posterior and anterior hip replacement. Schedule an appointment today to learn more about whether this procedure is right for you!

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