Has Your Hip Surgeon Advised You About the Anterior Approach?

Many surgeons stick to what they know, and we’re grateful for that, especially when our lives and well-being are on the line. However, sometimes a technique or procedure gains popularity for being a less invasive surgery alternative with quicker recovery rate and surgeons are slow to transition to that option. Because of this, many simply don’t mention options to their patients, and instead go forward with a traditional technique. It’s important to always get a second opinion from doctors, especially when considering surgery or other major procedures. It may save you recovery time and pain—and reduce some risks associated with your particular surgery.

Anterior vs. Posterior Approaches to Total Hip Arthroplasty

One such example of often omitted surgeon options is the anterior approach to total hip arthroplasty (replacement). The majority of surgeons take the posterior approach to any major hip replacement surgery; however, the anterior approach is rapidly gaining popularity in the surgical field due to patients reporting quicker recovery times, among other benefits.

Anterior and posterior hip replacement surgeries can be described as follows:

  • Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery – This approach involves a four-inch incision in the front of the leg. This entry point reaches the joint by separation of the muscles rather than the cutting and reattachment of the muscles.
  • Posterior Hip Replacement Surgery – This approach involves a four-inch incision on the back of the leg, towards the buttocks. This approach splits the gluteus maximus muscle and detaches two of the four external hip rotators. These will all heal and reattach over 4-6 weeks.

A journal entry from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) records that several studies supported the claim that the anterior approach “provides earlier restoration of function after THA [total hip arthroplasty].”

Other benefits of the anterior approach to hip replacement surgery include the following:

  • A one to two week recovery rate
  • A one to three month ability to return to physical work
  • A one month return to light sports
  • A three month return to vigorous sport

Your surgeon will be able to advise you on which approach is best for your condition. Some patients may not be ideal candidates for the anterior approach due to hip deformities, obesity, or flexion contractures. No large scale study has researched the approaches, while smaller studies have found that there is no considerable difference in each approaches recovery. Whatever the case, getting a second opinion before a total hip replacement surgery is helpful, as it may cut down on recovery time.

A healthcare provider owes a duty to their patients to inform them about alternative forms of treatment. If your healthcare provider failed to do so, resulting in detriment to your health, don’t hesitate to get the advice of Albuquerque personal injury attorneys from The Law Office of James H. Wood, P.C.

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