Jamie Wootton BSc MB BS FRCS, consultant orthopaedic surgeon specialising in joint replacement and joint reconstruction at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital in North Wales, discusses the key points on performing anterior hip replacements and what it can mean for the future.
The traditional approach to hip replacement surgery is going through the back, splitting the buttock muscles and pealing back the hip muscles to access the joint. When surgeons employ the anterior approach to hip replacement surgery, they enter the hip through the front part of the joint. “It's not the size of incision that matters - it's what you do inside the body. When we take the anterior approach, we don’t detach or remove any muscles,” Mr Wootton says. “From a recovery standpoint, that means less pain and quicker return to function.”
The anterior approach is a minimally invasive surgery because you can perform the whole procedure through a 10 centimeter or less incision. When surgeons eliminate the muscle disruption, patients don’t have to go on hip precaution, as other hip replacement patients do, and they can return to regular activity quicker.