Anterior Hip Replacement
If hip arthritis has made it difficult for you to get around and participate in your favorite activities, anterior hip replacement may be an option for you. Anterior hip replacement is a newer approach to hip replacement that improves upon the results of traditional total hip replacement approaches by making recovery easier on the patient.
Drs. John Bojescul and Jeremy Jacobs are our anterior hip replacement specialists at Augusta Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists.
Who is a Candidate for Anterior Hip Replacement?
Candidates for anterior hip replacement must meet the same criteria as patients undergoing traditional total hip replacement. This includes the following criteria:
- The patient has hip pain that interferes with daily activities, including walking and bending.
- The patient’s hip pain persists even while at rest.
- The patient has significant stiffness in the hip that limits range of motion.
- The patient’s symptoms have not improved with nonsurgical treatments like medications and physical therapy.
In addition to the above criteria for a total hip replacement, candidates for anterior hip replacement must:
- Have a BMI under 40
- Have no significant deformity of the hip
If a patient meets all of these criteria, Dr. Bojescul typically recommends anterior hip replacement. Approximately 90% of patients will be a candidate for anterior hip replacement. In the right patients, anterior hip replacement can provide even better results than more traditional hip replacement approaches.
What Are the Benefits of Anterior Hip Replacement?
Patients with severe hip arthritis can benefit from total hip replacement by allowing them to regain their mobility. Anterior hip replacement further improves upon this benefit by improving the recovery process and reducing some of the risks associated with traditional total hip replacement.
The benefits of anterior hip replacement include:
- Less pain after surgery
- Quicker recovery and return to activity
- No restrictions in physical therapy
- More accurate implant placement
- Lower risk of dislocation
- Lower risk of limb length discrepancy
What Happens During an Anterior Hip Replacement Procedure?
During an anterior hip replacement procedure, the surgeon will remove the damaged portions of the hip joint and replace them with prosthetic components. Where anterior hip replacement differs from traditional total hip replacement is in the location of the incision. Traditionally, the incision for a total hip replacement is made at the back of the hip. With anterior hip replacement, the incision is made at the anterior, or front, of the hip.
By making the incision at the front of the hip, the surgeon does not need to cut any of the muscles surrounding the hip to access the joint. This greatly reduces pain in recovery compared to a traditional hip replacement. The incision location also allows the surgeon to see the implant in real-time, so that he is able to place the implant more accurately.
The incision for an anterior hip replacement is typically 4-6 inches long, depending on the size of the patient. The procedure typically takes between 60 and 90 minutes to complete.
What to Expect When Recovering from Anterior Hip Replacement
Patients typically experience less pain after an anterior hip replacement as compared to a traditional hip replacement because the muscles do not need to be cut. Patients also have pain medication injected into the joint area for the procedure, which helps with pain in the first 48 hours of surgery. Patients are also given pain medication, but are typically off narcotic medications within one week of surgery. Most patients are able to return home within 1-2 days of surgery.
Anterior hip replacements reduce the risk of dislocation, which means that patients have fewer restrictions while recovering. Patients often begin walking the day of surgery, starting with a walker for the first couple of weeks, then graduating to a cane. Most patients are able to walk without an assistive device within 6 weeks of surgery.
The majority of patients will participate in physical therapy for 6-12 weeks after surgery, though some patients do not need physical therapy at all. Full recovery typically takes about 3 months.
Anterior Hip Replacement in Augusta, GA
If you think anterior hip replacement may be right for you, please call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bojescul or Dr. Jacobs. You may also request an appointment online via our convenient form.