Reasons You Might Need an Anterior Hip Replacement

When arthritis progresses past pain management, or when injury irreparably damages your hip joint, you may be considering a hip replacement. While the results are both dramatic and liberating after recovery, that’s a months-long process that takes time, care, and therapy.

Orthopaedic trauma surgeon Eric E. Johnson, MD, specializes in the anterior approach to hip replacement, the most minimally invasive technique to replace your hip and the fastest route to recovery. When the time comes to discuss a hip replacement, book a consultation with Dr. Johnson’s office.

Reasons for hip replacement

The most common form of arthritis is a wear and tear condition called osteoarthritis. When it strikes the hip, the cartilage coverings over the bones of the joint begin to deteriorate. If the condition progresses sufficiently, cartilage ultimately erodes, permitting painful bone on bone contact.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune system disorder that attacks the synovial lining that surrounds the joint. This accelerates hip deterioration until it, too, causes the erosion of cartilage and bone. These two types of arthritis likely account for most instances of hip replacement.

Fractures to the femur or pelvis can compromise the hip joint’s strength, which needs to bear heavy loads. A bone break can also introduce small alignment issues that could upset the joint’s mechanics, accelerating wear and tear.

Other potential reasons for hip replacement surgery include bone infections, bone tumors, a blood supply issue called avascular necrosis, or dysplasia, an abnormal bone growth issue. Nearly half a million hip replacements are done each year.

Anterior hip replacement

Traditional hip replacement surgery methods enter the back or side of the hip, posterior or lateral approaches, respectively. While the anterior approach – from the front – is about half a century old, it’s only been in the last decade that it’s become recognized as the better approach in terms of impact on surrounding tissue and recovery speed.

In most cases, anterior hip replacement is a day surgery performed on an outpatient basis, so there’s no hospital stay associated with the procedure. Your hip is replaced, and you’re on your feet quickly and at home that night.

What to expect

Anterior hip replacement is typically performed using a combination of regional anesthesia and sedation. Through an incision in the front of your leg, Dr. Johnson removes the femur’s ball and prepares the bone of the socket on the pelvis to prepare these for the prosthetic ball and socket set. These pieces are anchored into healthy bone tissue, where they will fuse over the coming months. The incision is closed, and your hip replacement is complete.

You’ll be monitored after surgery until you’re stable, then a friend or family member can drive you home. Your hip can bear weight soon after surgery, and you can walk with crutches or a walker the next day. Physical and occupational therapy starts soon after.

As your recovery progresses, you’ll regain pain-free mobility and immerse yourself in an active life again. Contact Eric E. Johnson, MD at 424-309-1492, to book your consultation today.

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