With Hip Replacement, Sometimes the Best Approach is Head-on

Each year, approximately 285,000 total hip replacements are performed in the US. Recently, a 50-year-old method resurfaced, now vastly improved by specialized equipment and techniques: the true anterior (frontal access) approach hip replacement surgery. Unlike traditional hip replacement, where the surgeon accesses the hip through the side (lateral) or back (posterior), the true anterior approach hip replacement utilizes a specialized table and specific surgical training to approach the hip area from the front, requiring smaller incisions and less cutting into the surrounding muscles and ligaments, sparing them trauma and enabling quicker healing. Because true anterior approach doesn’t require detachment of the muscles from the hip joint, recovery and rehabilitation are faster and there is less chance of hip dislocation. Not only do patients generally require only one day’s stay in the hospital (compared to the average three days for a regular hip replacement), they’re typically up and walking the day of or the day following surgery.

In any total hip replacement, the hip socket is smoothed and any damaged tissue and fragments are removed. The implant is then positioned in the socket, and a metal stem, which attaches to the new prosthetic ball joint, is used to replace the top of the thigh bone. For anterior approach, FMI uses the Exactech total hip implant, which was developed to provide superior range of motion while preserving maximal bodily structures. The Exactech Hip System features advanced materials, such as titanium stems, and a unique design that minimizes wear and stress, for optimal durability, stability and ease of movement.

FMI was the first local provider qualified to offer the anterior approach hip replacement, and, while other practices have followed our lead, our surgeons have uncommonly extensive training and hands-on experience with this revolutionary procedure.

To find out if you are a candidate for anterior approach or traditional hip replacement surgery, contact FMI for an appointment.

Ryan Mitchell