Unique Hip Replacement to Minimize Pain

Nearly 300,000 Americans undergo hip replacement surgery each year, followed by an extensive, activity-limiting recovery process. But not all hip surgeries are the same.

Surgeons at UChicago Medicine offer a unique alternative approach, accessing the hip joint from the front, or anterior. Known as the "anterior approach," the technique minimizes the pain and time from surgery to recovery. A wider range of patients — including larger, heavier patients — may be candidates for minimally invasive or anterior hip surgery.

With the anterior approach to hip replacement, orthopaedic surgeons use one small incision on the front of the hip. This technique allows the surgeon to work between the muscles and tissues without detaching them from either the hip or thighbones, sparing these tissues from trauma and a lengthy healing process.

Keeping these muscles intact may also help prevent dislocations. Since the incision is in front, patients avoid the pain of sitting on the incision site. More anterior hip replacement surgeries have been performed at UChicago Medicine's Harvey location than at any other hospital in the State of Illinois.