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Anterior vs Posterior Hip Replacement Surgeries: Know the Difference

Posted on in Joint Replacement

If you need hip joint replacement surgery in Jacksonville, FL, chances are you are debating whether to have an anterior or posterior procedure done. What you choose should be in consult with your doctor and you should consider what they recommend. Here, though, are the key differences.

Posterior Surgery

This is done by making an incision through the back of the hip while the patient lies on their side. Posterior hip joint replacement in Jacksonville, FL, is considered to be the “traditional” approach to hip surgery. If you have had a relative who got a hip replacement several years ago, chances are it was a posterior surgery. That should give you an idea of the recovery time involved.

Anterior Surgery

In an anterior procedure, the incision is made in the front and the patient lies on their back. It is a relatively new approach but is quickly becoming preferred by surgeons and replacement specialists and because of the reduced impact on the patient, primarily during recovery. Your hip joint replacement center in Jacksonville, FL can give you an idea of what its surgeons and specialists generally recommend.

The Differences

An anterior surgery involves an internervous/intermuscular plane, which means the surgeon can get to the hip between the muscles without having to detach or cut them. That means less trauma on the area under surgery and generally a quicker recovery period. Less of the patient is cut or even moved around, so there is less to heal. Additionally, an anterior approach can be more accurate as new technology in x-ray guidance can be utilized during the surgery.

With a posterior surgery, several muscles must be cut or separated to get access to the joint. This obviously will increase the healing time. The benefit of a posterior procedure, however, is that it has been done many more times than an anterior approach, so most surgeons have seen the possible complications.

Pros and Cons

The most attractive selling point of the anterior approach is the reduced healing time. Healing is not only faster, it is less painful, which also promotes quicker healing processes. Additionally, there are fewer post operation restrictions put on an anterior procedure. Recovering patients can bend and stoop, reach their feet, cross their legs and sleep in any position they want to sleep. This also helps in recovery because it means less stress for the patient, both physically and mentally.

The cons to anterior hip joint replacement in Jacksonville are that because it is relatively new, surgeons are still learning the unique aspects of the surgery. Additionally, there are some increased risks during surgery, primarily related to blood loss and some patients experience post-operative numbness.

The pro to a posterior approach is the known factor of the surgery. It is almost considered a routine surgery because it has been the preferred approach for so long. There are, however, many restrictions put on the patient post-surgery and the healing process is generally slower because there is more cut muscle to heal.

Those are the key differences. You should listen to your doctor regarding what type of hip replacement surgery you need and factor in joint replacement surgery cost in Jacksonville, FL, before making any decisions. Do not be afraid to recommend your preference, however, based on this information.

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