Health Care

Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery Can Relieve Pain and Reduce Recovery Time

Hip replacement

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About 300,000 Americans undergo hip replacement surgery yearly, typically followed by a long recovery process that limits activity. But not all hip surgeries are the same.

AdventHealth surgeons can provide an alternative approach, accessing the hip joint from the front or anterior, rather than the traditional method in the side or back. Our expert orthopedic surgeon, Thomas Auld, MD, is here to explain everything you need to know about the anterior approach to hip replacement surgery, including its benefits and who qualifies.

What Are the Benefits of the Anterior Approach?

The anterior hip replacement technique minimizes pain and the time it takes to recover from your operation.

Dr. Auld explains, “With the anterior approach to hip replacement technique, your surgeon will use one small incision on the front of the hip. This technique allows the ability to work between the muscles and tissues without detaching them from either the hip or thighbones, protecting them from trauma and a prolonged healing process.”

Keeping these muscles intact also helps prevent dislocations. Since the incision is in front, patients can avoid the pain of sitting on the incision site. 

We use regional or general anesthesia for this type of surgery. Here is a list of anterior hip replacement advantages:

  • Decreased muscle trauma
  • Decreased pain
  • Earlier and smoother recovery
  • Less limping
  • Reduced chance of hip dislocations
  • Shorter hospital stay

Who Can Have Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery?

“The surgeon makes the decision on a case-by-case basis, but some patients are not good candidates for this procedure for their safety,” says Dr. Auld.

He adds, “And if they undergo the operation, it may require longer incisions.”

Patients generally start with conservative treatment including physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and possibly injections. If these fail to provide adequate relief, it may be worthwhile considering surgery. The decision for surgery is made on a case-by-case basis. Although the majority of patients are able to have surgery, some patients may not due to a variety of medical conditions.

This includes patients who have:

  • A very muscular or obese (BMI greater than 40) body type
  • Current smokers
  • Uncontrolled diabetes

  • Patients with severe cardiac or pulmonary issues

  • Implants or metal hardware in the hip from a previous surgery

To qualify for anterior hip replacement surgery, patients should meet the following criteria:

  • A hip condition that hasn’t responded to traditional management
  • A support network following surgery
  • Commitment to follow their physician’s postoperative instructions
  • Good overall health
  • Maintains an average weight with less muscle mass and fat in the thigh area
  • Mobile, active and independent before surgery

Get Relief From the Ortho Experts

You can find world-class orthopedic care and relief from your pain at AdventHealth North Pinellas. We keep our communities moving by treating orthopedic issues with some of the most advanced techniques and treatments available. Whatever your circumstances, we’ll work together toward your recovery goals with a multidisciplinary team of orthopedic doctors and specialists with a customized and comprehensive care plan with a whole-health approach.

Learn more at You deserve to feel whole.

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