Joints are often the first part of the human body to wear out, but such deterioration is not limited to older people. Athletes and laborers can also have a great deal of joint damage through the strenuous use of their bodies. When the damage becomes severe and the pain chronic, sometimes the answer is joint replacement surgery. In addition, hips are essential to a person's mobility, and thus, their quality of life. So when a person's mobility is reduced because of pain, replacement surgery may be the answer. The surgery method can be either posterior or anterior approach hip replacement. We will discuss the latter.
What is Anterior Hip Replacement?
The anterior approach hip replacement method goes through the front hip muscles to replace the damaged joint. It's important to note that the surgeon does not cut the muscles with the anterior approach but spreads them out of the way. As a result, this method is not nearly as invasive as the traditional posterior approach.
Are There Advantages to This Method?
Yes. There are more muscles in the back region of the hip than in the front. Therefore, muscles have to be cut to reach the hip joint when approached from the posterior. It's this cutting that makes this approach more invasive and requires a longer recovery. The anterior approach hip replacement method is less invasive because no muscles are cut. That means less pain and a shorter recovery period after the operation. Since physical therapy is an essential aspect of joint replacement, a quicker recovery means a faster return to a mobile and active lifestyle. Also, since this method avoids the more connective hip muscles, there's less risk of future hip dislocations.
Can Anyone Take Advantage of This Method?
Anyone who needs hip replacement surgery should consider this method. Anterior hip replacements are often recommended for younger patients since faster recovery means a quicker return to everyday life. Younger patients are generally more active than older patients. Heavily muscled or overweight individuals are not ideal recipients of this approach.
What are the Risks?
There are, of course, risks to anterior approach hip replacement surgery, just as there are with any other surgery. Bleeding, blood clots, nerve or tissue damage, and, though reduced, dislocation can occur. Before proceeding, all risks should be discussed with your doctor before proceeding because risks are based on a patient's physical and mental fitness before surgery.
Those in need of hip replacement should consult with an orthopedic specialist to determine if they are candidates for anterior approach hip replacement. Contact Dr. Dan Albright, an orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, for more information about anterior hip replacement surgery. Call 919-863-6808 to set up an appointment today.