A Minimally Invasive Approach to Total Hip Replacement
With the goals of relieving pain, enhancing mobility and improving function, hip replacements are lifesavers for active older adults. Traditionally approached through the backside, orthopedic surgeons are now using a new, less invasive approach by going through the front of the body.
The anterior approach, either the anterior supine intermuscular (ASI) or anterior lateral intermuscular (ALI), is available to all patients in need of hip replacement, says orthopedic surgeon, Edward Humbert, D.O. The anterior approach typically reduces the risk of a devastating complication of total hip replacement called dislocation. This is due to the fact that none of the posterior structures of the hip joint that protect the hip from dislocation are damaged, which makes the hip less likely to dislocate for the lifetime of the hip replacement.
Reduced postoperative pain and recovery time are other key benefits to the anterior hip replacement, Dr. Humbert says. No muscles or tendons are damaged during the procedure, he says. With ASI, you basically separate and push the muscles apart, instead of cutting and splitting them. The result is a potentially shorter recovery that is easier and less painful.
Dr. Humbert performs about 400 hip replacements each year, and every procedure is done through the ASI or ALI approach. The best hip replacement is the one in which the implant is placed correctly, safely and with confidence, he says. I feel I give the patient the best possible outcome and significantly reduce their potential for complications with the anterior approach.
Regardless of the approach, Dr. Humbert reminds patients to remember that they are having surgery and the body does not like surgery. There will some associated discomfort and swelling of the hip after surgery, but it will typically improve dramatically over the first few weeks after the hip replacement, Dr. Humbert says. The end result is a pain-free joint, which allows most patients to return to all the activities they once enjoyed.
Taking a New Approach to Hip Replacement
Edward Humbert, D.O.
Joint Implant Surgeons of Florida
7331 College Parkway, Suite 300
Fort Myers, FL 33907