Not Your Father's Hip Replacement Surgery

by North Memorial

A newer, minimally invasive procedure for those in need of hip replacements is now being offered by surgeons at North Memorial. The procedure, known as direct anterior total hip arthroplasty, has several advantages over standard hip replacement surgeries.

"The advantage of this procedure is that people recover more quickly, have a lower incidence of limping and dislocation, and can get back to regular activities more quickly," says Brian O’Neill, MD, an orthopedic surgeon practicing at North Memorial. "We’re able to use x-ray technology to assist us in placing the implants so that we don’t have to cut muscles off of bone to get into the hip joint."

Traditional hip replacement techniques involve operating from the side (lateral) or the back (posterior) of the hip, which requires a significant disturbance of the joint and connecting tissues and an incision approximately 8-12 inches long. In comparison, the direct anterior approach requires an incision that is only 3-4 inches in length and located at the front of the hip. In this position, the surgeon does not need to detach any of the muscles or tendons.

Patients who are candidates for this advanced hip procedure are essentially the same as those who are considering traditional hip procedures. "They typically have pain in the buttocks, groin and thigh that keeps them from doing many activities," says Dr. O’Neill, who notes that people with arthritis are likely to be good candidates. Only those who are morbidly overweight are precluded from consideration.

More of these advanced hip replacement procedures have been performed at North Memorial than any other hospital in the Twin Cities. For more information on direct anterior total hip arthroplasty, please call 763-520-7870.

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