A New Direction in Total Hip Replacement
The anterior technique offers patients immediate mobility.
GW Hospital is a leader in performing total hip replacements in a way that can reduce complications of the surgery. Instead of entering the hip area through the back, they are entering from the front. They’re finding this angle on the traditional surgery offers a number of benefits to patients.
Scott Faucett, MD, MS, Orthopaedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Physician explains that when you enter the hip anteriorly (through the front), you don’t have to take the muscle off the thigh bone. This eliminates having to reattach the muscle to the bone and allowing time for it to heal. “As a result, patients are moving around sooner, and they often have less pain,” he says.
Anterior total hip replacement also offers patients a simpler rehabilitation. Traditional hip replacement requires patients to limit hip motion for about two months. Specifically, they have to limit the hip from bending no more than 90 degrees, which complicates sitting down to eat or drive. “The anterior approach reduces the risk of post-operative dislocation,” says Robert J. Neviaser, MD, Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery. “After surgery, you do not have to be careful about how you sit.”
Making anterior hip replacement possible is a surgical table that puts the patient’s leg in the optimum position for access and for X-rays, used by physicians to check and double-check alignments. The added precision also enhances recuperation.
“With this procedure, 80 percent of patients leave the hospital by day two,” says Dr. Faucett. “Of those, 30 percent are home the day after surgery.”