If you’ve been told you’re a candidate for hip replacement surgery, you could benefit from a minimally invasive surgical technique called direct anterior hip replacement.

With this approach, your surgeon accesses your hip joint from the front (anterior) instead of the side or back. This position requires a much smaller incision and your surgeon doesn’t need to detach any muscles or tendons to get to the hip joint—helping you to recover faster.

At Aspire, this procedure is performed on a customized operating table called a HANA arthroplasty table. The HANA table helps to minimize trauma to muscles and tissues because it allows for precise placement of the leg in such a way that muscles do not have to be cut.

Not every orthopedic surgeon has been trained in the direct anterior approach. But you’ll be glad to know that one of the region’s experts in this technique is right here at Aspire Orthopedic Institute.

What does direct anterior hip replacement involve?

In traditional hip replacement surgery, the surgeon accesses the hip joint from the side (lateral) or back (posterior). This involves an incision up to 12 inches long, significant disruption of the joint, and detaching and reconnecting the gluteal muscle and some tendons from the pelvis or femur to get to the joint. These are the muscles you must spend weeks or months rehabilitating after surgery.

The minimally invasive, direct anterior approach requires an incision that’s only about 4 inches long, and your gluteal muscles are left undisturbed. Instead, the hip joint is exposed between a natural space between the muscles in the front part of the hip—without the need to cut tissue or detach tendons.

Benefits of the direct anterior approach to hip replacement

With this minimally invasive technique, the soft tissue surrounding the hip is preserved, so:

  • You’ll have immediate stability after surgery
  • You can bend your hip freely and bear full weight when it’s comfortable (unlike with traditional hip replacement surgery when you must limit hip motion for 6 to 8 weeks after surgery)
  • You return to your regular activities faster (we’ll have you going up and down stairs before you leave the hospital)
  • Your hospital stay generally is shorter
  • There’s less scarring and you heal faster

Who’s a candidate for the direct anterior hip replacement?

The majority of patients who require a total hip replacement are candidates for this minimally invasive approach.

Patients who are overweight (with a body mass index greater than 35), have complex hip disorders or have had previous hip surgery are better suited for the more traditional surgical approach to hip replacement.

What is the recovery time from direct anterior approach hip replacement like?

Every body is different. How quickly you recover from this procedure depends on your age, how physically active you are before surgery, and how closely you follow your prescribed physical therapy regimen before and after surgery.

Patients who maintain healthy habits and a healthy weight after surgery typically experience less pain and improved mobility—enabling them to get back to the activities they enjoyed before pain became a problem.

Want to learn more about direct anterior approach hip replacement at Aspire Orthopedic Institute?

Simply call us at 503-261-6961 to schedule an appointment.

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