Anterior Hip Replacement: What You Need to Know
What is Anterior Hip Replacement?
The term “anterior” refers to the front side of your body, while “hip” means hips. So it’s not just a hip replacement, but also an anterior pelvic tilt (AHP). AHP is a condition in which the pelvis tilts forward, causing pain when walking or sitting down. It may cause other problems such as back pain, lower back spasms, and even sciatica.
How Is Anterior Hip Replacement Treated?
There are two main types of procedures used to treat AHP: open surgery and laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery involves cutting out part of the affected area with a small surgical tool called a laparoscope. Open surgeries involve removing the problem area through an incision made in your skin.
Laparoscopic Surgery: What Are Its Risks?
Open surgery is much safer than laparoscopy. However, there are still risks associated with both methods. These include infection, bleeding, and complications from anesthesia. Some of these risks can be avoided if you have a surgeon who specializes in hip replacements perform the procedure. If you don’t want to wait for an operation that might not happen, then a laparotomy can be done at home using local anesthesia.
Anterior Hip Replacement Recovery Timeline
The average time spent in the hospital for a regular surgery is between 2-3 days. But because this involves major incisions in your body, you may have to stay longer. Physical therapy can begin as early as two weeks after the operation, but it is generally recommended to wait at least one month before beginning so your incisions have time to heal.
When you enter physical therapy, you will gradually begin more and more rigorous exercise that involves your hip. The physical therapist might begin by manually moving your legs to get them accustomed to the movement. Then they might put you on a stationary bike if the leg movement went well. From there they could move on to the leg press machine, a treadmill, or perhaps just simple squats with no equipment at all. It all depends on your physical abilities and how fast you are recovering.
Anterior Hip Replacement Post-Op Care
Whether you had an open surgery or a laparotomy, you are going to want to take it easy in the first few weeks after the procedure. You will need help getting around and might have a problem walking up and down stairs. For this reason, many patients are advised to stay in bed and only get up when necessary until they regain their strength and balance. Staying in bed will also help keep your incision sites clean and prevent the risk of infection.
After about a week, you should be able to get up and move around with a walker or crutches. From there, you can work your way up to walking without assistance over the next couple of weeks. Most doctors recommend waiting at least four to six weeks before resuming more physically demanding activities such as running and jumping.
If you have any questions or concerns about the recovery process, you should get in contact with your doctor immediately.
Anterior Hip Replacement FAQ
While there are many benefits to having a hip replacement surgery, it may not be right for everyone. If you are still unsure about whether you would benefit from a THR or not, read through our frequently asked questions to see if they answer all of your queries:
What exactly is a hip replacement?
A hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the arthritic or damaged parts of your hip are removed and replaced by prosthetic parts. This will allow you to regain range of motion as well as alleviate any pain you may have been experiencing.
How long does a hip replacement surgery take?
On average, a THR takes about an hour and a half to complete. However, this time may vary depending on the doctor and facilities.
How long is the hospital stay?
You will stay in the hospital from 2-4 days after your surgery, but the amount of time you actually spend in your room may be shorter. In general, you should plan to stay in the hospital for at least a couple of weeks so your doctors can monitor your progress and recovery.
What type of nurses will I be dealing with?
For the most part, you will be dealing with nurses and other hospital staff that have experience working with patients who have undergone hip replacement surgery. However, your main nurse will most likely be a registered nurse, or R.N.
How much does a hip replacement cost?
The cost of a hip replacement operation can range from $35,000 to $95,000 depending on the hospital you choose and whether or not your insurance will cover the procedure.
Will my insurance cover a hip replacement?
This will largely depend on your specific health care plan. What we do know, however, is that more and more insurance companies are starting to cover these surgeries due to their high success rate and low rate of complications.
Am I too old for a hip replacement?
There is no age limit when it comes to a hip replacement. Whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or beyond, you may be a good candidate for this surgery if arthritis or another condition is damaging your hip to the point where it is causing pain.
Am I too young for a hip replacement?
While uncommon, some patients do undergo hip replacement surgery in their youth. If, for example, your hip has been damaged in a serious accident and cannot heal properly, you may need to have a hip replacement so that you can regain range of motion and quality of life.
What if I’m not a candidate for a hip replacement?
While many patients who undergo a THR experience positive results, not everyone is a candidate for this procedure. If your bone density is too low, for example, you may not be able to have a replacement because the prosthetic will not be adequately secured. If you are unsure of whether or not you are a candidate for a hip replacement, speak with your doctor about your concerns.
What if I want to become a candidate for a hip replacement in the future?
While there are things you can do to protect your hip and prevent against arthritis, injuries, and other conditions that could make a hip replacement necessary, there is no sure way to predict the future. If you think you may want a hip replacement in the next few years, speak with your doctor about the possibility of getting a hip protector. While not every doctor will suggest or recommend this procedure, it couldn’t hurt to ask!
Does Medicare or Medicaid cover hip replacement?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover this surgery. However, some states (such as California) do provide their citizens with Medicaid coverage for necessary hip replacement surgeries. Contact your local medical authority to see if your state offers this program.
Will I need physical therapy after my hip replacement?
Yes. It is very important that you stick with your physical therapy exercises and programs. This will help your body get used to the new hardware, as well as help you regain strength in your hip after surgery.
Can I still take painkillers after my hip replacement?
Taking over-the-counter pain medication is fine. If your surgeon has prescribed a stronger painkiller, be sure to use it sparingly and only as directed.
Am I able to drive after my hip replacement?
This will depend on your level of pain after your surgery. If your surgeon has given you the all-clear to drive, be sure to avoid any situations that may cause you to put pressure on your hip (such as acceleration and breaking) for at least two weeks following the procedure.
If you have any other questions about hip replacement that were not covered here, speak with your doctor.
Sources & references used in this article:
The direct anterior minimal invasive approach in total hip replacement: a prospective departmental study on the learning curve by OCL Brun, L Månsson, L Nordsletten – HIP International, 2018 – journals.sagepub.com
Anterior minimally invasive approach for total hip replacement: five-year survivorship and learning curve by DA Müller, PO Zingg, C Dora – Hip International, 2014 – journals.sagepub.com
The anterior approach for hip replacement by JM Matta, TA Ferguson – Orthopedics, 2005 – healio.com
Arthroscopic management of recurrent low-energy anterior hip dislocation in a dancer: a case report and review of literature by DM Epstein, DJ Rose… – The American journal of …, 2010 – journals.sagepub.com
Anterior hip pain–Have you considered femoroacetabular impingement? by JK Chakraverty, NJ Snelling – International Journal of Osteopathic …, 2012 – Elsevier
Hip arthroscopy after traumatic hip dislocation by VM Ilizaliturri Jr, B Gonzalez-Gutierrez… – … American journal of …, 2011 – journals.sagepub.com