Direct Anterior Hip Replacement

Dr. Christopher Vinton performs Direct Anterior Hip Replacements, and is the only surgeon in the local area doing so. This procedure is a technologically advanced and minimally invasive approach to traditional Hip Replacement surgery.

Traditional hip replacement surgery involves making an incision on the side of the hip (lateral approach) or the back of the hip (postero-lateral approach). Both techniques involve detachment of muscles and tendons from the hip to replace the joint. The detachment of these muscles may result in increased pain after surgery, and often prolongs recovery by months or even years. Failure of these muscles to heal after surgery may increase the risk of hip dislocation (the ball and socket separating), which is the leading cause of hip replacement failure. Hip precautions after surgery (no bending greater than 90 degrees, no crossing legs, no excessive rotation) are generally required for traditional hip replacement.

Direct Anterior Hip Replacement is a minimally invasive surgical technique. Using a specialized operating table, called the Hanna table, Dr. Vinton can access the front of the hip. This approach allows the joint to be replaced by moving muscles aside along their natural tissue planes, without detaching any tendons. This approach often results in quicker recovery, less pain, and more normal function after hip replacement. Because the tendons or muscles aren’t detached from the hip during Direct Anterior Hip Replacement, hip precautions are typically not necessary. This allows patients to return to normal daily activities shortly after surgery with a reduced risk of dislocation.

For more information, click Anterior vs. Posterior Hip Replacement Surgeries.

The chart below highlights the key difference between the Direct Anterior Approach and the Conventional Approach.

Direct Anterior Approach Conventional Approaches
Average hospital stay is one to two days. Average hospital stay is one to four days depending on hospital and surgeon protocols and the patient.
The hip joint is accessed between two muscle planes, without cutting through any muscle, potentially contributing to less pain and faster recovery. The hip joint is accessed by cutting though the major hip muscles which has the potential to result in increased postoperative pain and recovery time.
There are usually no precautions after surgery with regards to hip motion. The patient may sit in a regular seat and may sleep in any position that is comfortable. Usually patients will have specific “precautions” which mean they are recommended not to sit certain ways or cross their legs due to the risk of dislocation. Often, patients will be told to sleep with a pillow between their legs and use an elevated toilet seat because of the risk of dislocation.
The risk of hip dislocation (a complication which means the hip pops out of the socket) is extremely low (less than 0.5%) The risk of hip dislocation is about 1-3%.