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Making the Rounds: Anterior Hip Replacement

Last Modified: 11/20/2018

Mitchell Oetken, DO, PPG ­– Orthopedics, explains a minimally invasive, modern approach to hip replacement. 


The most common reason for hip replacement is osteoarthritis or trauma, which can affect the hip socket. Pain can come from degeneration caused by a genetic component or wear and tear that impacts cartilage, resulting in pain during daily activities.

Benefits of anterior hip replacement

The benefits of the anterior approach are a shorter recovery time and discomfort. Instead of cutting through muscles, the surgeon is splaying through the natural tone of muscles. Patients are often discharged the same day of their procedure.

Who is a good candidate?

Any patient is a good candidate for an anterior hip replacement. The surgeon will consider the patient’s body size and other factors in their medical history and assemble a comprehensive approach for their hip replacement.


Patients first meet with an anesthesiologist to go over risks and benefits. They are then taken back to the OR and made comfortable. Once the procedure is over, they’re taken to a recovery room and have great pain control from the physician and anesthesiologist. They will be up and walking a couple hours after the procedure with physical therapy and occupational therapy. The doctor and staff will then evaluate the patient for possible discharge.


During recovery, there are no real limitations in range of motion compared to traditional. Physical therapy will help initially but most patients experience full recovery in 3-6 months.


Patients will come back after two weeks so the physician can check the wound and make sure their pain is being controlled. Follow-up is spread out over the following year after that.

Pain management

Starting with the anesthesiologist, patients receive a regional block or general anesthesia. The surgeon also injects a cocktail of anti-inflammatory medications with local anesthetic around the joint itself and tissues around the skin. From there we use proven methods of Tylenol in IV form and other anti-inflammatory medications. There is a limited use of opioid medications, which speeds up recovery and limits risk of dependency.


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