Traditional hip surgery involves a large incision, a hospital stay, and a long recovery time. A recent Wall Street Journal article highlights the advantages of a less invasive anterior hip replacement procedure offered at Summit Orthopedics.
In today’s world, quality of life is less linked to age than it once was. Advances in surgery have enabled us to remain more active as we age, and shifted perceptions about when surgery is appropriate. A recent Wall Street Journal story highlights anterior hip replacement offered at Summit Orthopedics that is transforming the lives of patients with severe hip pain.
Understanding hip arthritis
Hip replacement surgery may be viewed as a surgical treatment for the elderly, but debilitating hip pain can occur at any age. A growing number of patients in their 40s and 50s are choosing to have a damaged hip joint replaced with an artificial joint. This hip replacement surgery has proved highly effective and has transformed the lives of patients struggling through pain to perform daily activities.
Two approaches to hip replacement surgery
Traditionally, hip replacement surgery has been performed via a long incision through the muscles, tendons, and tissues of the patient’s posterior. The newer anterior hip surgery is performed through a four-inch incision in the front of the hip near the groin. Instruments are inserted between the muscles to replace the joint. This approach preserves the muscles and tissues surrounding the joint. The minimally invasive nature of the procedure means that appropriate patients can have the surgery in an outpatient surgical center instead of a hospital.
Studies are comparing the outcomes of traditional and anterior hip replacement surgery. Patients undergoing anterior hip replacement surgery recover more quickly, but both anterior and traditional hip replacement patients recover fully after three to six months.
Advantages of the anterior approach
The anterior approach does offer several advantages that can improve the patient experience:
- Because the anterior approach avoids cutting muscle and tendons, it reduces muscle injury. Patients are able to return to physical activities much more quickly than patients undergoing traditional hip replacement surgery.
- When anterior hip replacement surgeries can be performed at a surgery center instead of a hospital, the infection risks for the patient are reduced.
- Most patients are able to return home within hours of the surgery and recuperate in familiar, comfortable surroundings.
- Many patients report minimal pain, and need less pain medication during their surgical recuperation.
- Traditional hip replacement procedures involve a three-month recuperation period. After an anterior hip replacement, some patients are back to work within days of surgery.
Summit surgeons who use perform an anterior hip replacement
The anterior technique is a difficult surgery to perfect because the smaller incision means that the surgeon is operating in a more confined way around the joint; in order to perform the procedure, an orthopedic surgeon must complete specialized training. Four Summit Orthopedics surgeons are among the select national orthopedic hip specialists qualified to perform anterior hip replacements: Dr. Kristoffer Breien, Dr. Jack Drogt, and Dr. Daren Wickum. If you are considering hip replacement surgery and have questions about traditional versus anterior surgical techniques, our specialists can review these procedures with you and help you select the approach that is best suited to your medical condition.
As Dr. Drogt observes, “Every individual has unique needs and wants. It’s a great responsibility to be entrusted with another person’s well-being. Our patients are looking for solutions to their hip pain, and we do everything we can to meet their expectations.”
When to seek treatment for your arthritis
Arthritis doesn’t have to spell the end of an active life. If you are experiencing worrisome symptoms or persistent pain, the renowned arthritis specialists at Summit Orthopedics can help. We work with you to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate conservative treatment plan. If nonsurgical treatments fail to support your lifestyle goals, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons will consult with you and discuss appropriate surgical options. Summit is home to innovative joint replacement options. Our Vadnais Heights Surgery Center is one of only two surgery centers nationally to receive The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement.
Start your journey to healthier joints. Find your arthritis expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a consultation.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.