When hip pain keeps you from enjoying life and doing the things you want to do, it's time to talk to one of the orthopedic specialists at King's Daughters' Health. A variety of treatment options are available, including total hip replacement surgery. As part of our Joint Replacement Program, patients who choose hip replacement at KDH receive a comprehensive care plan that includes presurgery evaluation and post-surgery follow-up. We want you to have an exceptional experience and successful recovery. As we like to say, "Life is calling. Go live it!"
Anterior-approach total hip replacement is less invasive than traditional procedures. With the anterior approach, your orthopedic surgeon makes a small incision on the front (anterior) of the hip rather than a larger incision on the side or back of the hip. The anterior incision allows the surgeon to work between the muscles without having to detach them from bones of the hip or thigh. Sparing the muscles minimizes trauma and promotes a more rapid recovery. A smaller incision also means less scarring. With the incision on the front of the hip, patients avoid the discomforts associated with sitting on the incision site. Regardless of body size or shape, most patients are candidates for the anterior approach.
Additional benefits of the anterior approach:
Fewer post-surgery restrictions
With the anterior approach, the muscles are spared (not cut or detached) during surgery. This provides immediate stability to the hip joint after surgery. It also means that patients have few, if any, of the traditional post-surgery restrictions, such as limits on how long they may sit, stand or lie down in a certain position. Patients begin moving (walking) soon after the procedure (generally the same day) and often go home in one or two days following surgery.
Accurate leg length
Uneven leg length has long been a risk associated with traditional hip replacement surgery. To eliminate this risk, patients undergoing anterior-approach surgery lie on their back, using a special table. This allows x-rays to be used during the procedure to measure and verify leg length and implant position. A patient leaves the operating room with the artificial hip components best suited to his or her body.
Patients undergoing anterior-approach hip replacement begin rehabilitation while still in the hospital. They are seen by physical therapists for gait (stride) training and functional activities. Because the muscles around the hip are spared, full weight-bearing exercises are allowed and encouraged. Basic therapy goals are achieved quickly, allowing the patient to go home in one or two days. In general, additional physical therapy is needed only on an outpatient basis once patients return home.
Whether you enjoy golf, gardening, fishing, walking or almost any other physical activity, you will be able to resume your favorite pastimes more quickly with the anterior approach to hip replacement. Every patient is different. Your doctor will provide you with a more detailed timetable as you progress through recovery.