Advances in surgical technique have significantly improved the recovery process for patients undergoing hip replacement surgery. Anterolateral hip replacement provides a much quicker recovery than previous techniques. In fact, most patients are walking easily within hours after surgery and are back home the next day.
The success is due to the approach the surgeon takes to get to the hip joint. Traditionally, a surgeon would approach the joint through the back of the hip, a process that requires muscles to be cut.
"In anterolateral surgery, we access the front of the hip without cutting any muscle," says George Babikian, MD of Orthopaedic Associates. "This approach makes a substantial difference in the patient's pain and recovery."
Anterolateral surgery is often referred to as a "minimally invasive surgery," implying the incision will be smaller. Not so, says Dr. Babikian, who has performed more than 1,650 of this specific surgery at the Joint Replacement Center at Maine Medical Center (MMC).
The incision may not be any smaller than a traditional hip replacement, but the Anteroloateral approach allows the surgeon to operate between the muscles.
"What happens after surgery is the key, not the length of the incision," adds Dr. Babikian. "Patients who undergo anterolateral hip replacement are up on their feet and walking without much pain shortly after surgery. They are not subject to the same activity restrictions that a traditional hip replacement requires. Their mobility is preserved and they are able to get around more easily."
The benefits of anterolateral hip replacement are so great that Dr. Babikian chooses this procedure for almost all of his hip replacement patients.
"Patients are often amazed with how well they feel post surgery and how quickly they get back to their lives," says Dr. Babikian.
For more information about Anterolateral hip replacement surgery, call the Joint Replacement Center at 207-662-0822.