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Home Patients Total Hip Replacement Surgical Approaches

Surgical Approaches

Anterior Approach

The anterior surgical approach allows the surgeon to access the diseased hip joint through the front of the hip. A major advantage of this approach is that it allows your doctor to work through natural intervals between the muscles around your hip, without having to cut through the muscles or detach them from the pelvis or thighbone. 

This preservation of your soft tissues may result in a faster return to weight-bearing activities, less pain and a quicker overall recovery time. Keeping these muscles intact may also help reduce the likelihood of dislocation, which may occur when muscles weakened in surgery are not strong enough initially to keep the new femoral head in the socket. The patient can also avoid the pain of sitting on the incision site since the anterior approach is performed through the front of the hip.

Why aren’t all hip replacements performed through the anterior approach?

Hip replacement can be performed through:

  • the back of the hip, (posterior approach)
  • the side of the hip (lateral or anterolateral approach)
  • the front of the leg (anterior approach)
  • or through a combination of approaches.

Anterior approach hip surgery requires implants and surgical instruments that are compatible with the approach. Specialized surgical tables, although not necessary, may facilitate the anterior approach by allowing precise positioning of the patient during surgery.

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