New Techniques for Hip Surgery: February 13, 2019

A new approach to hip replacement surgery is giving patients an easier and shorter recovery. “It’s an easier recovery, better return to ambulation, less use of walking aids, less use of narcotics,” said Dr. Daniel Harmon, an orthopedic surgeon with Lee Health.

Dr. Harmon uses a minimally invasive technique called a direct anterior approach. “What that is, is a muscle sparing approach at the front of the hip, rather than going for traditional through the side or the posterior approach,” he explained.

The anterior approach allows patients to get up and move just hours after surgery—and many go home the same day. “The incision is about 10cm in length, 8-10cm. But really it’s about what you do underneath the incision. How you spare the musculature underneath the incision. We’re able to just divide the muscles to get down to the hip joint rather than having to detach muscles and then reattach them at the end,” said Dr. Harmon.

Sparing the muscles and tendons during surgery makes for a quicker recovery after surgery. “Being able to divide the muscles to get down to the hip joint provides the biggest results because you’re not through the main muscles of the hip joint,” he said.

The anterior hip replacement can benefit patients who have suffered a break or who have arthritis. If the pain starts to disrupt your routine, it may be time to consider surgery. “If you start modifying your activity, you’re not doing the things that you enjoy anymore, it wakes you up at night,” Dr. Harmon said.

A minimally invasive procedure that’s changing the way patients recover after a hip replacement.