What is an Anterior Total Hip Replacement? | Dr Shidiak
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What is an Anterior Total Hip Replacement and am I a suitable candidate?

Firstly, let’s discuss the difference between an anterior total hip replacement and other hip replacement procedures.

A total hip replacement procedure is the process by which your hip joint is replaced by an artificial joint made of different components with materials such as metal, plastic or ceramic. It is considered one of the most successful procedures in treating patients with severe hip pain caused by arthritis, helping to restore the normal functioning of the joint. Due to surgical advances with instrumentation one of the more recent popular approaches is the anterior total hip replacements.

Dr Shidiak is one of only a few Australian orthopaedic surgeons with advanced Fellowship training in this technique, being involved in over 500 anterior hip replacement surgeries.

The difference between an anterior hip replacement and other hip replacements is the surgical approach used to access the hip joint. With traditional approaches (such as posterior or lateral), gaining access to the hip joint requires the cutting of some of the major muscles and tendons surrounding the joint. The advantage of anterior approach surgery is that the hip is approached from the front of the thigh, avoiding any cutting or splitting of muscles such as the abductor or gluteal muscles  (one of the main muscle groups that provide stability to the hip). Muscle preserving anterior hip replacement surgery is considered the most minimally invasive approach of performing a hip replacement procedure.

Due to this technique and the result of less muscles and tendons being cut during surgery, it is believed that there is a faster recovery period and there is generally less associated post-operative pain.

Is an anterior hip replacement the right procedure for me?

The most common indicator of the possibility of hip replacement surgery is if you are experiencing pain, stiffness and inflammation surrounding your joint which is often indicative of arthritis.

In the first instance, Dr Shidiak will need to determine whether you require a hip joint replacement during your consultation after a physical examination, conducting of tests and from the review of images of the joint. This will allow Dr Shidiak to assess whether an anterior approach is most suitable based on your individual needs.

As anterior approach surgery is a minimally invasive procedure, patients that are younger and more active, or have a need to return to their occupation or day-to-day lives quickly find great benefit from this approach.

Despite an anterior hip replacement being suitable for most patients, there are some characteristics such as the type of arthritis, deformity, or disease that may determine the need for an alternative approach. Some factors that help determine the type of hip replacement surgery include:

  • Whether the patient is significantly overweight
  • The hip anatomy of the patient

What is the recovery time for anterior total hip replacement?

Minimally invasive surgical approaches generally mean patients can experience faster recovery time and return to normal functioning sooner than other approaches. Patients find that they can walk without crutches, stop taking pain medication, and return to work sooner than other surgical approaches, however, the total recovery time depends on each individual. As part of your initial consultation and your post-operative discussions, Dr Shidiak will provide easy-to-follow guides about rehabilitation that you can perform at home to further enhance your recovery.

If you are experiencing abnormal pain and inflammation around your joints and suspect you may have arthritis, professional assessment from Dr Shidiak is recommended to determine the cause of these symptoms. He will be able to establish the underlying pathology and recommend which type of treatment is best suited for your individual needs, working closely with you to set you on the path to recovery and restored movement. Please call our friendly reception on (02) 9806 3333 to discuss your options and arrange a consultation with Dr Shidiak.

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