Anterior hip replacement is an alternative procedure to hip replacement surgery that may be available for some patients. A typical hip surgery is performed using the posterior approach. The anterior approach is different because it can be done with a smaller incision but it requires a special table and specialized tools.

Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery

The anterior hip replacement procedure is sometimes called a mini hip replacement or, the mini-anterior approach because the surgeon only needs to make a 3” to 4” incision in the side of the leg or buttocks.

The major benefit of an anterior hip replacement is that muscles and tendons are moved aside instead of having to be cut and reattached. This is an advantage that:

  • Reduces recovery time
  • Shortens your hospital stay
  • Reduces scarring

The anterior approach is more complex than other procedures that requires an experienced and skilled surgeon.

Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery is Not For Everyone

An anterior hip replacement is not the right procedure for every patient. A different approach with a larger incision may be a better option for patients with brittle bones, large muscles, or a patient that is overweight.

Additionally, an anterior hip replacement procedure cannot be performed on patients with:

  • Hardware from prior hip surgeries
  • Abnormally shaped acetabulum
  • Patients who also require bone grafting

X-rays are taken prior to an operation to determine the best course of action.

Anterior Hip Replacement Recovery

An anterior hip replacement patient is less likely to experience a hip dislocation post-surgery.

Unlike some other hip replacement procedures that have movement restrictions to aid in healing, anterior hip replacement patients should be able to bend their legs at the hip, cross their legs, and sleep normally.

Many patients return home in 2-3 days and sometimes can leave the hospital as soon as the day of the surgery or the day after.

Since muscles and tendons are not cut or detached in an anterior approach you may:

  • Have little to no pain
  • Not required extensive physical therapy
  • Enjoy a faster initial recovery period

Dr. Vigdorchik will recommend when you can return to normal, everyday activities such as work, driving, and sports.

Depending on the patient, weight-bearing activities (walking, for example) may be possible as soon as a day after the procedure and usually a few days afterwards without the use of crutches.

Anterior Hip Replacement Articles

Learn more about anterior hip replacements with these educational articles from New York City hip surgeon Dr. Vigdorchik:

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Dr. Vigdorchik is experienced in successfully performing minimally-invasive hip replacements.

If you are experiencing hip pain, schedule an appointment with New York City hip surgeon Dr. Vigdorchik, one of the 1% of hip surgeons experienced in performing all hip surgeries at (646) 754-2000.