The hip joint is one of the primary weightbearing joints of your body and is involved in almost any type of physical activity you perform. In the past, if your hip joint was injured or had degenerated beyond repair, your activities would have been severely compromised with the treatment being an extensive hip replacement surgery and possibly a long, painful recovery.
The direct anterior hip replacement is a ground-breaking approach to hip replacement that has many advantages when compared to the traditional approach. Some of these advantages are listed below:
- Smaller incision- With traditional hip surgery, a large incision is made on the side of the hip. Using the direct anterior approach, the entire surgery can be performed through a small incision made on the upper anterior border of the hip.
- Less soft tissue injury- Replacing your hip using the traditional method involves a lot of cutting of soft tissue and muscle to get to and replace the hip joint. With the direct anterior approach, most of the muscles can be moved out of the way without cutting or detaching them to obtain access to the joint.
- Improved joint stability- As the muscles and tendons are not damaged using this approach, they provide support and stability to your newly replaced joint.
- Faster recovery- With smaller incisions and less tissue injury, most patients can return home the day following the surgery. If you have a sedentary job, you may be able to get back to work within a week. There have been instances of professional athletes being able to return to their game with just 3-4 months of physical therapy after a direct anterior hip replacement.
Hip replacement surgery is no longer an option reserved for elderly or less-active individuals. It is more commonly performed today among young, active adults than it ever was in the past. If you feel hampered by hip pain or degenerative joint disease of the hip, the direct anterior hip replacement is an option that you should discuss with your doctor or a qualified orthopedic surgeon.