Hip replacement surgery is common. With thousands of people suffering from arthritis and hip pain, the good news is that there is a less invasive treatment option when hip replacement surgery is required.
Advances in technology and evolving research has identified that anterior hip replacement is a method worth considering. This approach, although not available to all, is proving to be a popular alternative to the traditional method as it does not involve cutting muscles or tendons. In this approach, an artificial joint is inserted through the front (anterior) of the hip. It is important to note that anterior hip replacement is not a type of hip prosthesis, it is a surgical approach to obtaining access to the hip joint.
Common conditions anterior approach hip replacement treats
Hip replacement is typically recommended to patients presenting with long-term osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, where inflammation can result in swelling and stiffness.
Those with a broken or fractured hip, bone tumors and even hip injury as a result of an accident can also benefit from this approach.
Candidates for anterior approach
We recognise that the main purpose of most hip replacement treatments is to alleviate pain and damage as a result of arthritis, however, a hip replacement using the anterior approach is not an option available to everyone.
There are a number of factors taken into consideration including the extent to which the bone and tissues have been damaged as well as bone shape and the type of arthritis you present with. There may be other appropriate treatments including hip resurfacing that are more suitable. This is where a consultation with the Adelaide Hip Centre will allow you to determine whether you are a suitable candidate and what the best option is for you prior to surgery.
Advantages and disadvantages of surgery
As previously mentioned, the anterior approach used in hip replacement surgery is an advantageous option because it is performed via a relatively small incision in the front of the hip instead of the side or the back in the traditional approach. Being less invasive and resulting in no muscle damage, patients are able to recover faster with less pain and face minimal restrictions on movement or activities post surgery. Long term, this approach also is proving to provide patients with a far more stable hip replacement resulting in lower risks of future dislocation.
The most common risks associated with this approach are those similar to any surgery. Complications are rare but can occur, therefore it is essential that you are comfortable with your decision prior to undergoing the procedure. Other than general risks associated with surgery including infection, there is a risk, albeit small, of nerve damage, ligament injury or the prosthesis not performing as it should. In some instances, patients report a small area of numbness around the incision area, however this is temporary.
Post surgery recovery
After surgery, patients generally have a shorter hospital stay and can return to normal activities earlier than with a standard hip replacement
Whilst it is recommended that you do not drive for at least 48 hours after anaesthetic, it is certainly reasonable for you to drive when you feel confident and can bear weight on your leg. Recovery time does differ for each individual.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE?
Don’t put off a visit to the Adelaide Hip Centre for a consultation.
Arrange a consultation if you are living with regular hip pain and common symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.
If you are experiencing hip joint discomfort and are seeking advice as to whether you may be a suitable candidate for an anterior approach. A consultation will help determine the most appropriate treatment for your hip condition.
For any enquiries relating to anterior approach, please get in touch with us.