There are several approaches to the hip that can provide an excellent outcome, but over the past several years, popularity of the anterior approach to the hip has grown. Improved equipment designed for the smaller working space has made the approach safer and more reproducible.
Benefits of Direct Anterior Total Hip Replacement
- Provides opportunity for direct comparison of leg lengths.
- Allows for use of Xray as part of the surgical workflow to confirm component position.
- Less muscle trauma and pain, which has a direct effect on early mobility and pain medication in the first 6 weeks after surgery,
- No motion or position-related restrictions after surgery.
- Very low rate of dislocation compared to the classic posterior approach
Unique Complications Associated with Anterior Hip Replacement
- Numbness along the thigh associated with injury to the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve.
- Increased risk of fracture of the femur during surgery as exposure is more challenging.
- Extension of the approach may be more challenging and unfamiliar.
- More wound healing issues often caused by irritation of the skin at the top of the incision.