More than a million of hip replacement surgeries are performed annually, making hip replacement one of the most common orthopedic procedures in the country. With that said, there are a number of variables that can make hip replacement surgeries challenging. 

One of the ways surgeons can eliminate some of the challenges of the surgery is through a complex anterior approach, which reduces downtime and has a lower chance of complications.

Bruce W. had a complex anterior approach hip replacement with Dr. Clegg, and he’s feeling great. What’s it like to have a complex anterior approach hip replacement? Here is one patient’s story.

Why Would I Need Hip Replacement?

Complex Anterior Approach Hip Replacement

Bruce’s mobility became severely compromised as his hip joint deteriorated. He says, “I had to walk from one piece of furniture to another to get to the kitchen.” 

Not only was moving around a problem, he also started getting very concerned about the shortening of one of his legs. Bruce noticed that the muscles were atrophying in his leg where his hip was troubling him. He says, “When I would stand up straight, my left heel would be at the top of my right ankle. That’s how much my leg had shrunk.” 

Patients like Bruce who struggle with pain and mobility issues are often good candidates for hip replacement. There are four primary reasons to seek out hip replacement surgery:

  • Difficulty standing on the bad leg for more than a minute, even with the support of an object for balance
  • Hip or groin pain, particularly during exercise or movement and, eventually, when trying to rest
  • No relief from other remedies such as anti-inflammatories, exercise, or physical therapy
  • Stiffness in the joint that causes mobility issues, even during simple tasks such as trying to tie your shoes

Bruce had all of these symptoms and more, and over time, his leg physically shortened as the muscles in the hip and leg declined. This short leg syndrome also caused issues with his back and posture. When the pain finally became too much, Bruce sought out a consultation with Dr. Clegg. 

During his consultation with Dr. Clegg, Bruce learned that he was a strong candidate for a surgical procedure known as “complex anterior approach hip replacement.” In his case, this surgery would not only give him a brand-new hip but also correct his short leg. 

After the procedure, Dr. Clegg said, “We were able to bring the hip back down to where it was supposed to be, bringing Bruce’s legs out to the correct length so that both legs matched up.” That helped the back and hip pain that had been plaguing him.

What Is Complex Anterior Approach Hip Replacement?

Complex anterior approach hip replacement is a surgical procedure performed through the front of the hip with a small three-to-four-inch incision. This allows the surgeon to move aside the muscles, compared to traditional surgery, where tendons are detached and muscles cut to reach the joint. It’s a much less invasive process for the patient and has been widely successful in improving outcomes and reducing surgical risks.

The hip replacement procedure itself is fairly straightforward and consists of the orthopedic surgeon removing the joint and replacing it with a metal or ceramic prosthesis (artificial joint).

In traditional hip replacement, a surgeon makes an incision on the side of the hip or on the back. Unfortunately, both of these surgical methods require that the tendons and muscles are detached from the hip joint. This allows the surgeon to cut away the hip joint and replace it. This type of surgery is effective, but it increases the timeframe needed for healing by potentially months over the anterior approach.

Problems with traditional hip replacement also include muscles that fail to heal, which increases the risk of hip dislocation. As a result, there are several serious restrictions on the patient to help prevent this from occurring. This includes no bending the leg more than 90 degrees, no crossing the legs, and certainly no hip rotation that would be considered excessive during the healing process. 

With the complex anterior approach, this isn’t an issue. Dr. Clegg says, “We were able to do Bruce’s procedure like we do all hip replacements: from the anterior approach, where we do not have to cut any muscles to get in there.” Like most anterior approach hip replacement patients, Bruce was up and walking just a few hours after his procedure. It was the first time that Bruce was able to move freely in years. 

Why Choose Dr. Clegg for Complex Anterior Approach Hip Replacement?

Complex Anterior Approach Hip Replacement

Bruce is a walking example of why patients choose Dr. Clegg for their orthopedic surgeries. He says, “I could keep my confidence, my self-esteem. This totally changed how I look on life.” 

Bruce calls Dr. Clegg “a confident man and he knows what he can do.” When it comes to his surgery, Bruce says, “I was totally at ease with the staff, from the receptionist to the nurses. It was like visiting friends. Each visit was a pleasure.”

This case is just one example of the kind of help that Dr. Clegg and his team can provide. Bruce says, “For anybody who is going through pain and they’re just afraid of surgery, there’s no need to put it off because Dr. Clegg will fix you right up.” Contact Dr. Clegg’s office today to discuss your options.