Anterior vs. Posterior Hip Replacement: Which Is Right For You?
Anterior hip replacement has become the most popular option for the treatment of hip arthritis. Posterior hip replacement has a long track record, and posterior hip replacement is still the preferred approach for many orthopedic surgeons. In this article, we’ll tell you about the two approaches and give you information to discuss with your doctor. The bottom line: both techniques have their advantages, so you should work with a surgeon who knows both.
Anterior Hip Replacement (‘From the Front’)
For patients with hip arthritis, hip replacement is a reliable treatment that improves function and decreases pain. For an anterior hip replacement, a special operating table is used. Muscles are moved aside, rather than cut, and the diseased hip joint is replaced with a prosthesis. Metal, ceramic, and polyethylene are used.
There are several advantages to anterior hip replacement that patients should know about. First, multiple X-rays are done during surgery so that the position of the implants and the length of the legs can be carefully measured. Adjustments can then be made during surgery.
Second, often after surgery no precautions or limitations are needed. So physical therapy can proceed easily.
Posterior Hip Replacement (‘From the Back’)
To replace a ‘hip from the back’, the patient is positioned on the side. A small incision is made and some muscles are detached and later repaired. The hips is then replaced with a new ball socket. The main advantage to the posterior approach is that it is ‘tried and true’. Furthermore, if there are any problems during surgery, the approach can be extended to show more areas of the bone if needed. While not everybody agrees, most doctors would say that the risk of the hip popping out (dislocation) is somewhat higher with the posterior approach.
Contact OrthoBethesda to Learn More About Your Options
Both techniques can reliably produce great hip function. Consider talking with your surgeon about which approach is best for you. The doctors at OrthoBethesda have experience with hip replacements and offer friendly and compassionate care.