Less Invasive, Quicker Recovery
ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital offers minimally invasive hip replacement surgery with the direct anterior approach. This surgery is separated from others by the fact that there is no muscle division when replacing the hip.
Disease, injury and the aging process may produce wear and tear on joints or damaged cartilage, which covers the end of your femur and tibia bones. Damage to the weight bearing surfaces of the hip joint as well as roughened hip bones rubbing together can lead to pain, stiffness and weakness, which limit your ability to walk, climb and perform activities of daily living.
The hip, a ball and socket joint, is where the head of the femur (thigh bone) meets the pelvis. In a hip replacement, an artificial ball replaces the head of the femur, anchored by a stem inserted into the bone. An artificial cup replaces the worn socket in the acetabulum (pelvic space). All parts of the new hip prosthesis have smooth surfaces for comfortable movement once you have healed.
Using the traditional approach to a hip replacement, muscle has to be divided for the hip bone to be removed from its socket joint. Cut muscle requires a long period of time to recover and limits safe range of motion until the soft tissue around the new hip has completely healed. There are also many precautions a patient must take to prevent dislocation as well as physical therapy.
Traditional hip replacement techniques involve operating from the side (lateral) or the back (posterior) of the hip, which requires a significant disturbance of the joint and connecting tissues and an incision approximately 8 to 12 inches long. In comparison, the direct anterior approach requires an incision that is only 3 to 4 inches in length and located at the front of the hip. In this position, the surgeon does not need to detach any of the muscles or tendons.
The anterior hip approach has been around for a few years, but the training and significant investment in the special table needed for the procedures is why many are reluctant to make the investment.
With an anterior approach, the femur is pulled forward instead of from the side. This approach is less invasive as there is no need to cut muscle. There are virtually no precautions after surgery. Most patients are able to walk and bend over without the fear of dislocation.
Currently, patients stay in the hospital after surgery for approximately 24 to 48 hours. Next year, it is expected to become a same-day/outpatient procedure.
Benefits of the anterior approach may include:
- Decreased hospital stay and quicker rehabilitation
- Smaller incision and reduced muscle disruption may allow patients a shorter recovery time and less scarring
- Potential for less blood loss, less time in surgery, and reduced post-operative pain
- Risk of dislocation may be reduced
- May allow for a more natural return to normal function and activity
For more information regarding the anterior approach of minimally invasive hip replacement, call our physician referral service at (734) 240-4565.