Anterior Hip Approach Information

Total hip replacement surgery can be less disruptive to your life. Thousands of people suffering from arthritis, hip pain and stiffness now choose a less invasive procedure when hip replacement surgery is their treatment of choice. One of the least invasive surgical options is Anterior Hip Replacement – a technique that minimizes the pain and time from surgery to recovery.

What is Anterior Hip Replacement?

Anterior Hip Replacement allows the surgeon to reach the hip joint from the front of the hip as opposed to the lateral (side) or the posterior (back) approach. This way, the hip can be replaced without detachment of muscle from the pelvis or femur during surgery. These are the most important muscles for hip function, the gluteal muscles that attach to the pelvis and femur, are left undisturbed and, therefore do not require a healing process.

What restrictions does conventional hip replacement surgery impose?

Conventional posterior hip replacement surgery typically requires strict precautions for the patient. Most patients must limit hip motion for 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. They must limit flexing of the hip to no more than 60 or 90 degrees which complicates normal activities like sitting in a chair, on a toilet seat, putting on shoes or getting into a car. Simply climbing stairs may also be more difficult during recovery.

How is patient recovery improved with Anterior Hip Replacement?

Anterior Hip Replacement allows patients to immediately bend their hip freely and bear full weight when comfortable, resulting in a more rapid return to normal function. After surgery, patients are instructed to use their hip normally without cumbersome restrictions. In supervised therapy, patients go up and down stairs before their hospital release.

Potential Advantages of the Anterior Approach
Average Hospital Stay 2 to 4 days 3 to 10 days
Smaller Incision 4 to 5 inches 10 to 12 inches
Less Muscle Trauma No muscle
Muscle cut
from bone
Faster Recovery 2 to 8 weeks 2 to 4 months
Reduced Pain YES
Reduced Blood Loss YES
Reduced Tissue Healing Required YES
Reduced Risk of Dislocation YES
More Accurate Leg Length Control YES
More Rapid Return to Normal Activities YES


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