Medical Services Orthopaedics Anterior Hip Approach Surgery Find a Location Find a Doctor Orthopaedics Menu Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers Anterior Hip Approach Spine Center Total Joint Center What is MAKOplasty? Am I a candidate for MAKOplasty? MAKOplasty FAQs Patient Success Stories Living Without Limits Speaker Series Anterior Approach . . . What’s That? The Hip Replacement Surgery with the Funny Name offers Big Benefits Less pain. A quicker recovery. Better mobility. If your surgeon said you could reap those benefits with a particular type of operation, you’d probably go for it. That explains why so many hip replacement patients these days are opting for a relatively new procedure in which the incision is made toward the front of the patient’s hip joint, rather than the rear, which has traditionally been the case. “Anterior approach” hip replacement surgery, as it’s called, requires a special operating table and a specially trained surgeon. The benefits are vast for those who fit a certain medical profile to be suitable for this procedure. Here’s the reason: The hip joint is closer to the skin on the front of the body. Thus, critical muscles don’t have to be affected around your hip or thigh bones, yielding benefits during and long after surgery. In traditional hip replacement surgery – known as the posterior (rear-facing) approach – the surgeon must cut muscles that help the patient walk. Thus, patients have limitations for about two months after surgery, and recovery time may be longer than what it is for those who receive hip replacements via the anterior approach. In fact, anterior approach patients can start bending at the hip and return to all activities as soon as they want after surgery. Another big advantage of the anterior approach is that keeping those muscles intact can prevent dislocations. Since the surgical incision is toward the patient’s front, sitting is less painful than it would be with a rear-facing incision. This results in a quicker recovery and a lower risk for infection. If you’re thinking about a hip replacement surgery, talk to your physician about the anterior approach. Most patients are candidates and this procedure is currently being performed extensively at the Total Joint Center at St. Elizabeth Edgewood.