Patient Information > Anterior Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement

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Up walking hours after surgery with little pain and a return to a normal lifestyle within weeks is now possible following hip replacement surgery.

The traditional posterior approach to the hip cuts, splits or detaches major muscles about the joint that are essential for normal gait. It is performed via a 20 - 30cm posterior incision. It is this muscle damage that is the cause of most of the post operative pain and difficulty in rehabilitation following a total hip replacement.

Gait Analysis and MRI studies have shown that permanent muscle damage caused by traditional approaches in hip replacement surgery results in most cases of long term limp and instability problems such as dislocation. This can be avoided by an Anterior Minimally Invasive Approach.

Minimally Invasive Surgery is the most important revolution in surgical technique since the early 1900s. The anterior approach to the hip is a well described technique that has been in common usage for over 70 years.

For Total Hip Replacement to be considered truly minimally invasive it must:

  • Not divide, detach or split any muscles.
  • Approach the joint via an inter-nervous plane.
  • Be achievable via a small (6 - 8cm) cosmetic incision.
  • Result in less post-operative pain, fewer complications and a quicker rehabilitation.
  • These criteria are only possible via an anterior minimally invasive approach.

A group of French Orthopaedic Surgeons led by Dr Frederic Laude have in the past 15 years perfected a minimally invasive anterior approach using specially designed instruments and a unique leg positioning device that allows Total Hip Replacement to be performed via a small 6 - 8cm anterior truly minimally invasive technique.

Less Pain - Rapid Rehabilitation

The AMIS technique approaches the hip joint from the front via a small 6 - 8cm incision. This avoids the major muscles of the buttock which are cut during a traditional approach.

No muscles or tendons are cut in the anterior approach resulting in less post-operative pain, fewer complications, shorter hospital stay and a more rapid rehabilitation resulting in better functional results with a greater improvement in quality of life. Patients are able to mobilise fully weight bearing on the day of surgery and progress to a single walking stick by the time of discharge from hospital on day 3 or 4. Patients are able to return to normal daily activities and recreational sports much earlier than with other conventional approaches.

Conclusion

Over the past 18 years, I have performed over 2000 Hip and Knee Replacements. I was fortunate to be the first South Australian Orthopaedic Surgeon to be trained in this innovative technique. From 2005 till the present I have successfully performed over 1,350 Anterior Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacements. I have been particularly impressed with the improvement in post-operative pain and speed of rehabilitation.

I believe that Anterior Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement offers the advantages of less post-operative pain, fewer complications, shorter hospital stay, improved cosmesis and a more rapid rehabilitation with better functional results. This approach will become increasingly popular amongst my colleagues and change the way Hip Replacements are performed in this country. The majority of patients undergoing a Total Hip Replacement are suitable for an anterior minimally invasive approach.

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