Coronavirus Update: Important information about COVID-19. Read More

Total Hip Replacement Information

You have options when it comes to hip pain

If you’re currently suffering from hip pain brought on by arthritis or other causes, treatment options are available to help you get back to living an active lifestyle. Below, you’ll find general information on hip pain and the options available to help you get back on your feet.

Total hip replacement

The first step when making the decision about hip replacement is to meet with your surgeon to see if you are a candidate for total hip arthroplasty (THA). Your surgeon will take your medical history, perform a physical examination, and X-ray your hip. Even if the pain is significant, and the X-rays show advanced arthritis of the joint, the first line of treatment is nearly always non-operative. This includes weight loss if appropriate, an exercise regimen, medication, injections, or bracing. If the symptoms persist despite these measures, and with corroborating X-rays, then you may consider total hip arthroplasty.

The decision to move forward with surgery is not always straightforward and usually involves a thoughtful conversation with yourself, your loved ones, and ultimately your surgeon. The final decision rests with you based on the pain and disability from arthritis influencing your quality of life and daily activities. Those who decide to proceed with surgery commonly report that their symptoms keep them from participating in activities that are important to them like walking, taking stairs, working, sleeping, putting on socks and shoes, sitting for long periods of time, etc., and that non-operative treatments have failed.

What is an anterior hip replacement?

An anterior hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which damaged bones in your hip joint are replaced with an artificial hip (total hip arthroplasty). Also known as minimally invasive or muscle-sparing hip arthroplasty, the goal of this procedure is to reduce muscle damage and speed recovery.

Surgeons traditionally perform hip replacement surgery by making an incision behind (posterior approach) or on the side (lateral approach) of the hip.  Today, it has become more common for surgeons to make the incision in the front of the hip - this is called an anterior approach or anterior hip replacement.

An anterior approach has become more popular because it’s less invasive than posterior and lateral approaches. Entering your hip from the front causes less damage to surrounding muscles and tendons, which may lead to a faster recovery as well as:

Less muscle trauma

Less pain

Less limping

Shorter hospital stay

Decreased chance of hip dislocations

Why should one need a total hip replacement with anterior approach?

If you have tried alternative options for hip pain, your physician may recommend a hip replacement.  Hip replacements treat pain and damage from arthritis. In osteoarthritis, long-term wear-and-tear damages the joint. In rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and tissue damage. Other reasons for getting a hip replacement include:

Broken or injured hip

Bone that has died because it did not get enough blood (avascular necrosis or osteonecrosis)

Bone tumors

Total hip replacement with anterior approach is not an option for everyone. You may have other surgical choices, such as total hip resurfacing. Talk with your physician to see what makes sense for you.

Signs You May Need a Hip Replacement

The physicians on the medical staff at Texas Health Center for Diagnostics & Surgery, Plano, TX, may suggest surgery if a patient is experiencing:

Pain that does not respond to conservative treatments such as medications and physical therapy, for six months or longer

Hip arthritis that has been confirmed through X-ray

Debilitating discomfort that prevents patients from sleeping, moving, or working

Fractures or tumors in the hip

Loose hip prosthesis

Some hip fractures

This surgery is not recommended for patients with:

A current hip infection

Poor skin coverage around the hip

Paralysis of the quadricep muscles

Severe disease of the blood vessels of the leg and foot (peripheral vascular disease)

Nerve disease (neuropathy affecting the hip)

Severe limiting mental dysfunction

Serious physical disease (terminal disease, such as metastatic disease)

Morbid obesity (more than 300 pounds)

Ready to take the first step?

Contact us for additional information

If you have additional questions about hip pain or would like more information about treatment options please contact call our Joint Replacement Coordinator at 972-403-2843.