The Anterior Approach to Hip Replacement

by TOI Admin November 2, 2011

By Marc J. Rogers, D.O.

Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon


The anterior approach to hip replacement is an alternative to traditional hip replacement surgery in which the hip is accessed from the front of the joint. A standard 10 cm (4 in) incision is made in the front (anterior) of the hip as opposed to the back (posterior) or side (lateral). The technique uses an interval between the muscles in order to limit injury to them during the course of the surgery. Leaving these muscles intact can limit the risk of dislocation after surgery and may allow an accelerated recovery.


The anterior approach is typically made possible with the use of a specialized operating table that places the leg and pelvis in a stable position. This table is designed to help achieve excellent alignment and positioning of the implant. Rather than being positioned on their side or stomach, the patient lays flat on his or her back, which minimizes tilting of the pelvis during the operation, allowing more accurate positioning of the hip implant. The table also gives excellent access to the femur, or thighbone, in order to position the stem of the implant effectively. In addition, both hips can be replaced at the same time if needed since the patient lies on his or her back for the procedure.


Side-by-side X-ray monitors are used to provide X-ray views of the operative hip and the patient’s opposite hip. This comparison gives the surgeon information used to determine the desired position for an effective, stable hip replacement implant and allows precise control over the patient’s leg length.


In summary, the anterior approach to hip replacement offers several advantages over traditional hip replacement surgery. These include: a smaller incision, less risk of dislocation, few to no hip precautions after surgery as well as an overall quicker recovery.


For more information and an opportunity to ask questions, join me for a community presentation at 10 a.m. on November 3 at Towneplace Suites by Marriott – The Villages. It is hosted by Ocala Health Systems and is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to 1-800-530-1188.


Dr. Rogers is board certified in orthopaedic surgery and practices at The Orthopaedic Institute’s Ocala office. Dr. Rogers attended medical school at Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency training at Peninsula Hospital Center (LIJ Health Care System) in New York, followed by his fellowship training in Sports Medicine/Adult Knee Reconstruction. Dr. Rogers is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Medical Association, Florida Medical Association, Marion County Medical Society as well as many other professional associations.



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