Rhett Hallows, MD, orthopaedic surgeon with North Carolina Orthopaedic Clinic and a member of Durham Regional Hospital’s medical staff
The New York Times recently featured an article on anterior hip replacement, in which an incision is made through the front of the hip instead of the side. This kind of hip replacement reduces the number of muscles that are cut during surgery.
The article describes the California-Matta approach to anterior hip replacement. Orthopaedic surgeons at Durham Regional have been performing what is referred to as a German-Rottinger approach of this technique since 2005.
Both approaches are based on making an incision through the front, are muscle sparing and use a special split operating table to position the leg. However, the approach used by Durham Regional surgeons addresses the negatives raised in the article, particularly in regard to blood loss and sensory nerve changes.
When compared to traditional hip replacement, there are some early advantages to anterior hip replacement using either method. These advantages include slightly quicker recovery and lack of need for hip precautions (positions that need to be avoided to prevent hip dislocation) but no long-term advantages are noted to this point.
At Durham Regional, approximately 300 patients a year undergo anterior hip replacement. To learn more about hip replacement surgery at Durham Regional, visit durhamregional.org/forwardmotion.