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Anterior Hip Replacement

Hip Replacement

Hip replacement is one of the most successful of all surgical procedures. The surgery is advised for the relief of pain and to improve function when all other efforts have failed.

Hip replacement is usually performed when the hip, which is a ball in socket joint, has been destroyed by arthritis, or following injury or uncommonly, for a number of other conditions. The smooth cartilage surface has worn away, leaving a rough and bare surface, where the leg seems to get stuck and pain is felt in the groin, thigh to knee and the buttock. The leg feels stiff and walking distance is diminished. At times, early symptoms seem severe, although usually the intensity fluctuates over time. Ultimately, patients get tired of the pain and restrictions on their daily life and seek treatment. Anti-inflammatory tablets can help, as can weight loss and gentle exercise.

During a hip replacement, the worn-out joint is replaced with a prosthesis, resulting in significant pain relief and better function. The socket (acetabulum) is replaced with a hemispherical component, a new bearing surface placed within, and then the head of the femur (the ball part of the joint) replaced with a new ball placed usually on another component placed within the centre of the bone.

The surgery takes around one hour and is usually performed with a spinal anaesthetic where the patient is sedated and remembers very little. At times patients will be asleep.

Movement commences immediately post operatively and walking starts either the same or the next day. The best advice to getting over the operation as quickly as possible is to move early and often. Post operatively most patients walk with a stick inside for a fortnight then discard the stick for use outside only. Tablets for pain relief are given, recognising that they will take the edge from the pain though not remove it completely. Having said this the pain is rarely excessive. Patients are reviewed whilst they are in hospital and then for removal of sutures at about 10 days after their operation.

Most hip replacements will last between 15 and 25 years. The goal is to do the surgery once and do it well.


Superpath Hip Replacement

There are many ways to perform hip replacement surgery. Each technique has its own advantages, and for some patients a recently devised procedure , called Superpath, may be appropriate. The main

advantage of this technique  is that the capsule of the hip is not divided, lessening the risk of dislocation of the hip. The technique relies on patients being reasonably slim, and having been diagnosed with arthritis of the hip which has not resulted in either severe deformity or marked capsular contractures. The incision is in the buttock (like traditional hip replacement surgery), though is usually much shorter. Recovery is as rapid as anterior hip replacement surgery.


Anterior Approach Hip Replacement

There are many ways to access the hip in order to perform a hip replacement. One of the best techniques involves an approach through the front of the thigh. The incision is smaller, although more importantly no muscles are cut, therefore allowing a much faster return to function and vastly diminishing post operative pain.

The surgery takes about one hour with patients up and walking either the same day or early the next. Most will stay in the hospital for 2 to 3 days. When patients leave the hospital they can get into and out of bed by themselves, and ascend and descend stairs with the aid of a stick.

Dr. Young has performed over 150 hip replacements through this approach, which is offered by very few other surgeons in the region.

The following videos demonstrate the benefits of Anterior Minimally Invasive Hip Surgery rather than surgical technique.