Anterior total hip replacement is an innovative technique that allows patients to recover more quickly after hip replacement. Dr. Nigro uses this technique to help patients recover as quickly as possible. This technique involves spreading and holding the different muscles in the front of the hip apart to create a "window" into the hip joint. This allows the surgeon to perform total hip replacement without cutting through any muscles as typically occurs with more traditional approaches.
Because no muscles are cut during anterior hip replacements, patients are immediately allowed to walk after surgery without needing "hip precautions" or restrictions on certain positions of the hip. Hip precautions are used after traditional hip replacement to prevent hip dislocation. This risk is minimized by the anterior hip approach. Furthermore, because the patient is placed in a more natural position lying on their back during surgery (as opposed to lying on their side), a fluoroscope (real-time x-ray machine) can be used during surgery to more accurately implant the hip prosthesis. This results in better overall outcomes and quicker recovery.
Hip replacement is typically done with patients staying in the hospital for one or two nights. Patients start walking the day of or morning after surgery depending on whether surgery was in the morning or afternoon. Overall, patients can expect to have excellent pain relief and better function after their total hip replacement.
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