ANTERIOR TOTAL HIP ARTHROPLASTY
Total hip arthroplasty is a procedure to remove the damaged hip joint and replace it with an artificial one with the goal of returning to the activities previously enjoyed without discomfort. Although the anterior approach to total hip replacement was first performed over 50 years ago in France, it wasn’t popularized until much more recently in the United States with the advent of a specialized table. This approach allows the surgeon to replace the damaged joint by working between the muscles rather than detaching them. It is performed through a small incision utilizing minimally invasive techniques on the front of your hip. The anterior approach allows for the use of xray during the surgery to ensure accurate component placement and leg lengths. Advantages of the anterior approach over the more traditional posterior approach include more accurate component placement, accelerated early recovery and pain relief, decreased dislocation rates, and no need for hip precautions following surgery.
Dr. Russo utilizes a controlled surgical impaction tool called “Kincise” rather than a mallet to deliver a precise amount of force when preparing the bone, decreasing risk of possible fracture and improved preservation of the cancellous bone. In addition, a computer navigation system called “Velys” is used in all patients during surgery to confirm accurate component positioning as well as leg length measurement from one side to the other.
Typically, patients who may be a candidate for a total hip replacement have significant groin pain that often can travel down the front of their thigh, sometimes all the way to the knee while performing everyday activities such as walking, hiking, or running. Often, patients will complain of difficulty placing their shoes or socks. Discomfort in the buttocks is usually referred pain from the low back and spine rather than the hip itself. If the discomfort is only mild, surgery would not be recommended as patients will often find that their pain is improved with anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, or steroid injections.