Typically after patients have a hip replaced with the conventional approach, they go to inpatient rehab following 3 to 4 days in the hospital. When patients eventually return home, they are given strict “hip precautions” because of increased risk of dislocation during the first 6 -8 weeks after surgery. These precautions include no bending more than 90 degrees from the waist and no crossing of the legs, and they must sleep with a pillow between their legs for 6 weeks. Because the anterior approach spares major muscles and tendons, patients are at low risk for hip dislocation and therefore do not need to follow “hip precautions.”
For patients needing hip replacement, I utilize an anterior approach to ensure patients receive the most appropriate care possible.
While there are three main approaches to hip replacement—lateral, anterior and posterior—the anterior approach has become more popular over the last decade. The anterior approach focuses on replacing the hip through 3- to 4-inch incisions in the front of the joint, which has many advantages during and after the procedure.
The major advantage of this procedure is the fact that muscular tendons are not detached. Tendon detachment and splitting are unavoidable in other approaches. This approach also doesn’t affect the gluteal muscles that are instrumental with walking, which allows patients to recover more quickly.