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An Old Technique Rediscovered

The history of hip replacement surgery goes back more than 30 years and has gone through significant changes over time. Modern implants and new technology have brought back one procedure thought to be too complex.

“The anterior hip approach is not a radical technique, but one that has been used for many years,” says Roger Emerson, M.D., orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital of Plano. “It has become more popular because it allows for quicker overall healing, but some patients still do best with a traditional posterior hip approach, and the outcome of traditional surgery is excellent.”

Surgeons at Presbyterian Hospital of Plano’s Texas Joint Replacement Institute perform all types of less-invasive hip surgery. The anterior approach allows surgeons to enter through the front of the hip where no muscles are cut or released, which means the muscles recover more quickly and the hip joint is intrinsically more stable.

“I would estimate that I perform 95 percent of my primary hip replacements using this approach,” Emerson says. “Almost all patients are candidates for the anterior approach procedure unless they are obese or have physical restrictions that require a posterior approach.”

The main benefit of this procedure is faster recovery time, but Emerson says some patients also experience less anxiety because they have more leg control immediately following surgery.

“These patients still need pain medications, but not to the same degree as other approaches,” Emerson says. “In this day and age, when returning to functional activities like work can be important, we are at the forefront of joint replacement because we feel it offers real advantages to most patients.”

To find an orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital of Plano, call 1-800-4-Presby (1-800-477-3729).

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