Eight days after having total hip replacement, Larry Horton, 60, was back
at work — not at an office job but as an equipment mechanic who
spends his days kneeling, lifting and moving heavy machinery.
Ellen McKoy, a self-employed writer, had total hip replacement in the morning
and that afternoon was returning work emails between walks down the hallway
with her physical therapist. Two days after returning home from the hospital,
the Yorba Linda, California, resident was grocery shopping without a cane
Both had ‘direct anterior’ total hip replacements at
St. Jude Medical Center, a minimally-invasive option for hip replacement that offers a variety
of benefits, from less pain to a much faster recovery.
“Less than 24 hours after surgery, a physical therapist had me climb
a flight of stairs,” explains Larry, who dealt with osteoarthritis
pain in his hip for several years before being referred to
Joseph G. Mayo III, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at St. Jude. “The freedom
of movement and stability almost immediately after surgery was a huge
advantage, both professionally and personally.”
According Dr. Mayo, “Patients have less pain, spend less time in
the hospital, and have far greater freedom of movement in the weeks after
surgery. Patients don’t have to put their life on hold for two months.”
Unlike traditional total hip replacements, the direct anterior approach
uses a small incision at the front of the hip, instead of the side or
back of the hip. This anterior approach allows a surgeon to access the
hip joint by going between the muscles, making it the only hip replacement
procedure that avoids cutting or detaching the muscles and tendons.
By preserving the muscles as well as the posterior hip capsule, the less
invasive procedure reduces hip dislocation rates — the leading cause
of replacement failure — and eliminates the need for hip precautions:
the restrictions on sitting, moving and other activities often required
after a total hip replacement. Not every patient is a candidate for this
procedure; speak to your doctor to better
understand the risk and benefits associated with your specific medical needs.
Stewart Shanfield, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon, who also
performs the direct anterior approach says, “the technique is appropriate
for most patients suffering from osteoarthritis in the hip, including
young and active patients: Ask questions, do some research and discuss
your options with your surgeon.”
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.