Joint replacement surgery is one of the oldest procedures in history. Since 1891, orthopedic surgeons have been replacing faulty hips due to fracture, arthritis, and structural abnormalities. Thanks to 125 years of innovation, modern-day hip replacements are arguably the most advanced orthopedic surgery performed today.
The way the artificial hip is designed and the material it is made of has been the focus of many researchers and companies. The goal is to provide an artifical joint that functions and feels like a natural joint as much as possible.
Orthopedic surgeons are continually looking for ways to make surgery less invasive, less painful, and less risky. Minimally invasive procedures are the way of the future. For hip replacements, the anterior approach is gaining popularity as a less-invasive alternative to your grandmother’s hip replacement.
The anterior approach to hip replacement is a muscle-sparing technique that offers the following benefits:
- Less pain and bleeding
- Faster recovery
- Better results
- Most people are candidates
Instead of making an incision on the side or back of your hip, the surgeon accesses the hip joint from the front (anterior) side. From this side, there are no muscles that need to be cut in order to remove and replace the joint. This makes it easier to resume activity after hip surgery, because the supportive muscles remain intact. It’s also less painful than traditional hip replacement. Additionally, using the anterior approach allows for better placement of the new joint, which leads to improved outcomes for patients.
To learn more about the technique, check out this YouTube video.
Many people do not realize that the anterior hip replacement is not new. It was first done nearly 70 years ago in France, although the modern-day version was implemented in the 1960s. The reason it has not been widely performed is likely due to the complexity of the procedure. Advanced training is needed to master this technique, but there are clear benefits for the patient that make it worth the extra work.
To learn more about this muscle-sparing procedure for hip replacement, please contact Tucson Orthopaedic Institute for an appointment.
Image Source: Johns Hopkins Mediicne