Anterior Approach: New Hip Surgery Allows Faster Recovery

With the anterior approach for hip replacement surgery, surgeons make one or two small incisions on the front of the hip, allowing the surgeon to work between the muscles rather than detaching them from the bone. This results in less pain and quicker recovery. To allow the surgeon to perform the surgery while keeping the muscles attached, a HANA™ orthopaedic table is used to improve access to the hip. This approach also allows the surgeon to more accurately align and position the implant which helps ensure a better long lasting result.

Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement Is a Major Advancement

With traditional hip replacement surgery, surgeons make a large eight to ten inch incision to cut the muscles and tendons around the hipbone and replace the damaged joint. Patients normally spend three to five days in the hospital with a three month recovery.

Patients who undergo minimally invasive hip replacement surgery experience less discomfort and are back on their feet in about two weeks. During the procedure, a surgeon operates through incisions that are just one to two inches long (the method depends on the patient's arthritis condition, bone type, and body size/shape) with the assistance of X-ray guidance and special surgical instruments. Because it involves less cutting of muscle, tendons and ligaments, patients expereince less trauma to the body, recover more swiftly and may go home the day after surgery. 

Replacing the Hip

In all hip replacement surgeries, the surgeon removes the damaged femoral head and resurfaces the joint with metal and plastic implants. The new implants result in smooth movement between the ball and socket, decreasing pain and stiffness and restoring hip function. The same high quality, clinically proven prostheses are used in both minimally invasive and traditional surgery.

The replacement hip is comprised of a stem, ball and socket. The socket implant is attached by using a special kind of epoxy cement for bones or by pressing the implant into the socket so that it fits very tightly and is held in place by friction. Some implants may have special surfaces with pores that allow bone to grow into them to help hold the implant in place. Depending on the condition of the patient's bone, the surgeon may also decide to use screws to help hold the implant in place. When the shell portion of the socket implant is in place, the plastic liner is locked into place inside the shell.

The ball portion of the implant is attached to a long metal stem that fits down into the femur (upper leg bone). The bone has relatively soft, porous bone tissue in the center. Special instruments are used to clear this tissue and mold the area to fit the shape of the implant stem. The stem implant will be inserted into this area and held in place by either using the special cement for bones, or by making it fit very tightly in the canal. The stem implant may have a special surface with pores that allow bone to grow into them. When all the implants are in place, the surgeon places the new ball that is now part of the upper leg bone into the new socket that is secure within the pelvic bone.