An Effective Approach to Hip Replacement
by Dr. Eric Grossman
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.
Once the initial incision is made, the old femoral head and neck are removed, and an artificial femoral implant is inserted to stabilize the hip before closing the incision.
During the procedure, I use intraoperative imaging to ensure I get a definitive view of the implants’ position. Using this supplemental technology allows me to have absolute confidence that when I leave the operating room, the implants are ideally positioned.
While there are two different methods of performing the anterior approach—using a standard operating table or a specialized operating table, such as the hana or PROfx table—learning this technique takes specialized training.
Editor’s Note: Eric Grossman, MD, FAAOS, is Co-Director of Joint Replacement at Northern Westchester Hospital’s Orthopedic and Spine Institute.
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