Through advances in
the surgical field safer approaches for hip replacement have been developed. Newer methods are helping patients recover faster with fewer complications. One of the latest techniques is the anterior approach
to hip replacement surgery. Surgeons around the world have embraced the method which has grown in popularity with patients.
What is the Anterior Approach?
It is a frontal approach to the hip joint. It differs from the traditional approach which involved either a lateral (side) or posterior (back) approach. The chief advantage of the anterior approach is that there is no muscle cutting to access the joint; augmenting the healing process.
Another significant advantage is that the operating time is reduced significantly. The duration varies from one hour to two hours based on a patient's anatomy.
The recovery period is decreased since muscles are moved aside for the procedure and not cut or detached. The post-surgery pain is less since the muscles do not require healing time.
What are the Post-Surgical Precautions?
Patients are cautioned against strenuous activities for the first few weeks. Regular activities can be resumed as the patient feels comfortable, so that will mean different activities for each patient. Patients who are more physically fit before surgery may be able to return to all activities sooner than patients who are not. Anterior approach patients do not have the same restrictions as posterior or lateral approach patients. There is no restriction to squatting, bending or crossing legs while sitting. All hip replacement patients no matter the approach are urged to complete physical therapy and to continue those exercises after returning home. Physical therapy works the muscles surrounding the hip. The exercises strengthen those muscles helping them hold the artificial hip joint in place thus reducing the occurrences of dislocation.
The anterior approach is no doubt a surgical procedure that has brought relief both to the doctor and the patients. It has reduced the duration of surgery and the time required for healing. Patients should observe post-operative care instructions to avoid dislocation and other unforeseen complications.