Hip replacement used to mean long scars, long recoveries and a long list of restricted activities. That was before the minimally invasive direct anterior approach was pioneered and the specialized Hana operating table was developed specifically for the procedure.
Although fewer than 5% of the nation’s orthopedic surgeons employ this approach, Seaside Surgery Center’s hip specialists use it almost exclusively. By approaching the hip joint from the front (anterior) as opposed to the lateral (side) or back (posterior), the hip joint can be replaced without detaching muscle from the pelvis or the femur, as required in traditional hip replacement. The muscles are simply pushed apart to allow the surgeon access to the bones of the hip joint. This results in less pain for the patient.
In a traditional hip replacement, patients may take many months to fully recover. With the direct anterior approach patients are up and walking, with full weight bearing on the operative hip, within hours. Our outpatient hip replacement patients go home within a few hours of surgery. Most are walking without aid (cane, walker) within a few days and they return to activities like golf, tennis, biking and walking in as few as four weeks.
Anterior approach hip replacement patients are able to use their new hip without restrictions. They can immediately bend their hip freely whereas conventional hip replacement limits flexing of the hip to no more than 60 to 90 degrees. This restriction complicates simple activities like sitting in a chair, or on a toilet seat, putting on shoes, or getting into a car.
Using a specialized X-ray machine, called a fluoroscope, allows our surgeons to see the placement of the hip implant in real time and make adjustments immediately. This level of accuracy ensures equal leg length before the patient leaves the operating room.
These four advantages: less pain, faster recovery, no restrictions and more accuracy mean that direct anterior approach outpatient hip replacement at Seaside is the best choice for patient and surgeon alike.