In anterior hip replacement surgery (or total hip arthroplasty) the damaged or worn out hip joint is replaced with an artificial one. This type of surgery also helps alleviate pain in the hip that other treatments, such as medications and physical therapy, are unable to contain.
The most common reason for hip replacement is when there is severe degeneration in the joint, wearing out of the protective cartilage, and end-stage osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Another common reason for hip replacement surgery, is after advance avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis) of the femoral head. Finally, this surgery may also be needed after a hip fracture as well.
The goal of hip replacement surgery is to replace the parts of the hip joint that have been damaged. It is extremely successful in 99% of patients, and helps relieve hip pain that can’t be controlled by other treatments.
Traditionally, anterior hip replacement is a less destructive approach to hip replacement surgery. It utilizes a muscle sparing technique to gain access to the hip joint. This relatively newer technique of minimally invasive hip replacement uses a smaller incisions instead of the traditionally larger one often done with a posterior approach. In addition, for most cases, when doing the anterior approach, there are almost no movement restrictions after surgery, unlike the older posterior approach.
Hip replacement can now be done with a discharge home on the same day. At times, an overnight stay in the hospital may be more appropriate. Your stay length may vary depending on your specific case and needs. Dr. Geller will explain the procedure to you in detail. He will also ask if you have any questions about the surgery.
Anterior hip replacement is typically done under more of a regional / epidural type of anesthesia. though the skilled anesthesiologists that Dr. Geller works with may vary the plan based on the specific patients needs. Your anesthesiologist will discuss this with you before you have your surgery.
After Dr. Geller performs the operation, the incision will be closed with a plastic surgical type closure, using stitches on the inside that dissolve and skin glue. After surgery, you will be monitored in the recovery room. Once you are awake and your vital signs, like blood pressure and breathing, are stable, you will be discharged home, or moved to your hospital room for further recovery. In addition, after discharge home, you will be able shower immediately as your dressing is water-resistant.
It is important to get moving again as soon as possible after surgery. To help with that, a physical therapist will meet with you and plan a rehabilitation program to help you get back on your feet. With Dr. Geller's procedure, most patients do not need physical therapy. Your only rehab after surgery will be a daily regimen of simple walking. With time, and walking, your hip should recover over the next several weeks.
After surgery, you will also see either Dr. Geller or Linda Geraghty NP for a follow-up visit. Upon discharge home, you will be given a multi-modal pain regimen that limits opioids to a minimum, and allows patients to resume an improved lifestyle as quickly as possible.