Direct Anterior Approach
The Direct Anterior Approach is one of the minimally invasive techniques used in total hip replacement surgery. Continuing orthopaedic experience suggests that this technique may be associated with reduced muscle damage and pain, as well as faster post-operative recovery.
Traditional hip replacement techniques involve operating from the side (lateral) or the back (posterior) of the hip, which requires a significant disturbance of the joint and connecting tissues and an incision approximately 8-12 inches long.
In comparison, the Direct Anterior Approach requires an incision that may be 3-4 inches in length and located at the front of the hip. In this position, the surgeon does not need to detach any of the muscles or tendons.
The table below illustrates the key potential benefits between traditional
replacement and the Direct Anterior Approach.
Under a doctor's supervision, patient may be assisted to walk later on the day of surgery
Do not bend hip more than a right angle
May potentially avoid some restrictions associated with traditional hip replacement
Do not turn feet excessively inward or outward
Use a pillow between your legs when sleeping
General Surgical Complications
As with any surgery, hip replacement carries certain risks. Some complications may be more common with the Direct Anterior Approach, including bone and soft tissue complications. You should talk with your doctor to better understand the risks and complications before making the decision to undergo total hip replacement. Below are some complications that may arise in DAA total hip replacement procedures.
Soft tissue injuries
General hip surgery complications which may include inadvertent leg lengthening, dislocation, and medical complications such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and infection.
Decreased hospital stay and quicker rehabilitation
Potential for smaller incision and reduced muscle disruption may allow patients a shorter recovery time and less scarring
Due to the minimally invasive nature, patients may have a decreased risk of hip dislocation after surgery
May allow for a more natural return to normal function and activity compared to the posterior lateral approach
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