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Posterior vs. Anterior Total Hip Replacement

When a patient has arthritis of the hip, the underlying bone develops spurs and irregularities which can cause pain and loss of motion. A total hip replacement has the ability to relieve pain and restore normal function in patients whose hip joint has been destroyed by trauma or disease. In this type of surgery, the damaged hip socket and ball of the femur are replaced by man made implants. This surgery has been done routinely for the past 50+ years with great success. The average hip replacement lasts 20-30 years or more.

There is renewed interest in the news and medical world lately regarding surgical approaches to hip replacement, specifically anterior (through the front of the hip) versus posterior (through the back of the hip) methods. Of all the joints currently replaced in the human body, the hip joint has had the most success, the quickest recovery, and is the most durable.

The posterior approach to total hip replacement is the most commonly used method and allows the surgeon excellent visibility of the joint, more precise placement of implants and is minimally invasive.

As the medical world constantly strives to improve medical devices and implants, shorten surgical and recovery time, and minimize pre-, intra-, and postop- complications, previous surgical techniques have gained renewed interest — namely the anterior total hip replacement. A careful comparison of the minimally invasive posterior hip replacement with the newer anterior hip replacement reveals similarities and differences, as you will see below.

A Minimally Invasive Approach to Hip Replacement

To date there is no clinical study showing the superiority of one approach over the other. As with any surgery, there are risks and benefits unique to each type of approach. The most important factors are not the type of approach used, but the experience, reputation and trust you have with your surgeon.

Dr. Kruse has been performing hip replacements for more than 10 years and is familiar with all methods of total hip replacement. He is constantly attending conferences and education seminars to stay up to date on the most current techniques.

There are a variety of approaches available to orthopedic surgeons regarding total hip replacement. No matter the approach or type of implant used, when performed by an experienced surgeon, surgical time, hospital stay, speed of recovery, and rates of complications are very low.

At the clinic visit where surgery is discussed, be prepared to ask your surgeon about his experience, complications and overall outcomes. Should you have any questions regarding total hip replacement, please feel free to make an appointment with Dr. Kruse, who would be happy to go over the options available to you.

Minimally Invasive Posterior vs. Direct Anterior Approach to Hip Replacement

  Minimally Invasive Posterior Approach Direct Anterior Approach
Position of patient Content will be updated soon.
Location & length of incision
Muscle preservation
Risk of nerve damage
Risk of fracture
Intraoperative visualization
Risk of dislocation & hip precautions
Good candidate
Length of surgery
Hospital stay
Postoperative complications
Use of medical equipment
Use of physical therapy
Return to sedentary work
Return to physical work
Return to sports (light/vigorous)