Anterior hip replacement surgery, or anterior total hip arthroplasty, has changed the way orthopedic surgeons perform hip replacements. This procedure requires the surgeon to access the joint from the front of the hip, or the anterior, instead of from the side (lateral) or rear (posterior).

The anterior approach to hip replacement surgery is one of the least invasive surgical options in hip replacement surgeries. For many patients with significant osteoarthritis or other damage in their hip joint, an anterior total hip replacement can offer ideal outcomes.

Watch Dr. Paul Lombardi’s anterior total hip arthroplasty patient walk with a normal gait post-surgery. 

Just after his surgery, this video shows Dr. Lombardi’s anterior total hip arthroplasty patient walking up and down the stairs.

Am I a Good Candidate for an Anterior Hip Replacement?

You may benefit from anterior hip replacement if:

  • Hip pain continues while resting, day or night
  • Hip pain limits your everyday activities
  • Other treatments do not relieve hip pain
  • Stiffness in the hip limits ability to move or lift your leg
  • You experience little pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs
  • You have harmful or unpleasant side effects from hip medications

After undergoing this treatment option, the most evident benefits of hip surgery are:

  • A better range of motion
  • Decreased pain and improved function
  • Fewer hip precautions or activity restrictions, compared to traditional hip replacement
  • Lowered risk of dislocation, compared to traditional hip replacement
  • Reduced time from surgery to recovery

If you’re interested in an anterior hip replacement, speak with one of our hip specialists to find out if it is the best course of treatment for you. Your surgeon may decide to use a different surgical technique, such as a lateral or posterior approach, in cases where the hip bone positioning or surrounding anatomy is not ideal for the direct anterior approach. Some health conditions may also increase the risk of postoperative complications. Other approaches to total hip replacement may offer better outcomes for these patients.

How Direct Anterior Hip Replacement Procedures Work

Traditional approaches to total hip replacement surgery also replace the hip joint with a new hip prosthesis. Traditional hip replacement uses either a posterior incision (from behind the hip) or a lateral incision (from the side of the hip). Compared to total hip replacement surgeries using a direct anterior approach, these procedures have an increased risk of dislocation. This is because some hip joint structures are not preserved in the same way.

With a direct anterior approach hip replacement, the surgeon uses an anterior incision (from the front of the hip). When performing anterior hip replacement surgery, muscles attached to the hip do not need to be cut; they are moved to the side. This is what makes the anterior approach to hip replacement surgery such a minimally invasive, muscle-sparing technique. Other aspects of the procedure are similar to other surgical approaches, where damaged bone is removed and replaced with implant components to reduce pain and restore function to the joint.

Because the anterior approach preserves so many muscles, tendons, and soft tissues, patients will typically have significantly less pain after surgery and an easier recovery. The anterior approach also requires exceptional technical skill to perform. You should choose an orthopedic surgeon with additional training and experience in the anterior approach.

The Hip Surgery Experts at Tri-County Orthopedics

Tri-County Orthopedics' orthopedic surgeons provide specialty-trained care for hip pain, injuries, and replacement surgeries. Our doctors are expertly trained and knowledgeable in advanced care of the hip. At Tri-County Orthopedics, our goal is to get you back to doing what you love to do.

Our direct anterior total hip replacement surgeons include board-certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Paul Lombardi and Dr. Aaron Forbes. Dr. Lombardi serves as one of the region’s most recognized hip and knee replacement experts. He specializes in minimally invasive joint replacement procedures, including anterior approach total hip replacement, and Dr. Lombardi is the largest volume hip replacement surgeon in the Tri-State area. Dr. Forbes is a fellowship-trained joint replacement surgeon whose extensive training and experience are focused in the latest surgical approaches, including total and partial hip and knee replacement and revision surgery as well as anterior approach hip replacement surgery.

If your condition or injury requires an alternative treatment approach, our whole hip joint reconstruction team is here to help. Dr. Frank Capecci, Dr. Wayne Colizza, Dr. Robert D'Agostini, Dr. Robert Goldman, Dr. Stephen Hunt, Dr. David Klein, and Dr. Rocco Simmerano are all board-certified or fellowship-trained in orthopedic surgery. Together, our team offers proven surgical and nonsurgical care focused on your needs and goals, from physical therapy and injections to hip arthroplasty, resurfacing, and revision.

To schedule a consultation with one of our hip replacement surgeons, you can request an appointment online or call (973) 538-2334. We have convenient locations in Cedar Knolls, Bedminster, Sparta, Denville, and Bridgewater.