Why we go anterior for hip replacements.
A hot topic for discussion over the last few years in Orthopedics has been whether to do an anterior or posterior hip replacement. We break it down for you so you know what the best approach is.
In the United States, estimates show that greater than 75% of surgeons use the posterior approach even though it has a dislocation rate that is SIGNIFICANTLY higher than anterior based approaches.
Says who? Reviews of literature show that in all studies posterior hip replacements have higher rates of dislocations.
Why do some surgeons go "posterior" then? It is an interesting question and one that seems to be completely ignored with respect to the data. It is in our professional opinion that posterior approaches are technically easier, thus less skill level is needed to do the surgery.
Why do they dislocate from the posterior approach?
The reason for dislocations from posterior approaches is many fold. The posterior capsule, meaning, the tissue that keeps the hip in the socket in the back of the hip, is not as strong as the muscles in the front. A repair must be done of the hip capsule when doing posterior surgery which leads to postoperative restrictions like don't bend past 90 degrees, don't bring the leg across the body while internally rotating the foot. All of these restrictions scare patients, and it is very difficult to comply with.
Our surgeons at Atlanta Bone and Joint do not use the posterior approach for these reasons. Why argue with evidence based medicine when the anterior approaches have been performed safely and with minimal dislocation rates since the 1950's? We don't know why the practice of posterior approaches continues.
As you continue to read about approaches to your hip, make sure it's an anterior based approach. We can't, based on evidence based medicine, give support to posterior approaches. We want our patients to have no restrictions after surgery except to enjoy their new hip. How can you do that if you are being restricted in what you can do!
Learn more about our approaches to minimally invasive hip surgery on our website at www.atlantaboneandjoint.com/hipreplacement.html
Learn even more about going home the same day after hip replacemement at