Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery FAQs

How is anterior hip replacement surgery performed?

Anterior hip replacement is a relatively new surgical method that, unlike the posterior or posterior lateral approach, the patient lies on their back and not on their side. Access to the hip is made through a four-inch incision to the outside area of and just below the groin. After the incision is made, the surgeon locates two muscles, which are pushed to the side in order to allow access to the area. The hip is then replaced, including the ball and socket and other components. Unlike other surgical procedures, no muscles are detached or split. Thus, before closing the canstockphoto13092914incision no repair has to be done to any muscles. Upon completion of the replacement the incision is closed.

How is anterior hip replacement different from traditional hip replacement surgery?

Generally speaking, it is a less involved procedure. There is no cutting or splitting of muscles, access to the area is easier, and fewer muscles are involved. Traditional surgery includes making an incision from the buttocks that curves around to the outside of the hip. Then the buttock muscles are split and four other muscles are detached. All of these muscles must be repaired after the hip is replaced. With anterior hip replacement surgery, no muscles are split or detached, and only two are pushed to the side during surgery.

What are the benefits of anterior hip replacement surgery?

Any successful hip replacement surgery will improve a patient’s quality of life by allowing them to be more mobile, physically active, and involved in activities associated with work and leisure. However, there are benefits that are related specifically to the anterior hip replacement method.

Because muscles from the back of the hip are not cut, there is minimal muscle trauma, which allows for faster healing and reduced pain. Plus, due to the fact that muscles are not detached, there is less risk after surgery of the patient suffering a hip dislocation.

Post-surgery discomfort is also reduced due to the location of the incision, which is below and in the outer region of the groin area for the anterior method. Traditional technique involves the buttock muscles, which, weeks after the surgery is complete, affects sitting and sleeping. Finally, there is more comfort in terms of equal leg length, as the anterior method makes it easier for the surgeon to obtain optimum balance between the legs.

What precautions must be taken after anterior hip replacement surgery and are they different than those taken after traditional hip replacement surgery?

Prior to and following posterior hip replacement surgery, there are numerous precautions that surgeons must discuss with their patients. They must be taken after surgery is performed, and are numerous. These precautions do not apply to those who undergo the anterior hip replacement procedure.

The reason for taking the following safety measures is to guard against dislocating the new hip, which is a common complication. Precautions include:

  • For the first four to six weeks after surgery, a pillow must be placed between the legs when sitting or lying down.
  • For the first four weeks, patients who are recovering must sleep on their back with a pillow between their legs
  • Hips or knees must not be bent beyond 90 degrees during this time.
  • Leg crossing, inward turning of toes, and tying of shoes are also prohibited.
  • Low chairs or couches should not be sat on.
  • To preserve to 90-degree rule, patients are encouraged to use an elevated toilet.

With anterior hip replacement, the risk of dislocation is virtually eliminated. Thus, as noted, there is no need to follow the precautions outlined above.

In what ways is rehabilitation different for anterior hip replacement surgery than it is for posterior?

First of all, due to the fact that the above addressed precautions have been eliminated, rehabilitation for anterior hip replacement is much different than that for the posterior process. Muscle trauma is greatly reduced with the anterior method, which makes for a rehabilitation timeline that is much faster.

A patient having undergone anterior hip replacement surgery finds it’s much easier to use a walker, and, two to three weeks after the operation, they can progress to using a cane. Within four to five weeks, a patient is usually walking without the aid of a cane, and they can resume normal activity very shortly after that.

With posterior hip replacement surgery a patient utilizes a walker for the initial four to six weeks and then a cane for three to four more weeks. They will often be walking independently after approximately 10 weeks. A patient may resume their normal activities in about 12 weeks.

How invasive is anterior hip replacement surgery?

Although anterior hip replacement surgery is less invasive than the posterior method, it is still considered to be a major operation and invasive surgery. This is due to the fact that anterior hip replacement surgery involves a patient being put under an anesthetic, and their being exposed to blood loss and the cutting of bone. Plus, the joint area is opened up. All of these factors involve a certain amount of risk.

ospi_smallDo all orthopedic surgeons perform anterior hip replacement surgery?

No, not all orthopedic surgeons use this technique. Most surgeons have been trained in posterior hip replacement, which is a very effective method. It is still the most common technique used. In order to perform anterior hip replacement surgery, a doctor will have to be exposed to other surgeons knowledgeable about and experienced in the procedure. This costs money and takes time. Plus, a hospital would have to invest in special equipment, including an operating table designed for the procedure.

Is anterior hip replacement surgery more expensive and does my insurance cover it?

Anterior hip replacement surgery is more expensive, however, it does not cost a patient any more money to have this type of surgery performed. All insurances cover both types of procedures.

OSPI is the top orthopedic practice in the East Valley. Chandler and Gilbert orthopedic surgeons at the practice offer anterior hip replacement surgery along with cutting edge procedures such as stem cell therapy procedures. Most insurance is accepted, call 480-899-4333 for more information and scheduling with top orthopedic surgeons Gilbert, Chandler and Mesa trusts.

The Difference Between Major and Minor Joint Replacement Surgeries

Major joint replacement surgeries constitute surgical processes where the entire joint is replaced with a metal and plastic implant. These two replacement parts are intended to simulate the natural joint. This is considered major surgery because it is something which must be completed using open surgery, something which is much more severe compared to minor alternatives and something which takes a significantly longer amount of time from which to recover. canstockphoto13092914

This major surgery is something reserved for worst-case scenarios, something which you should not use until you have exhausted all other nonoperative options. The purpose of this major surgery is to restore functionality and allow you to live independently after you have dealt with arthritis enough that nonsurgical treatment options have done nothing to rectify the pain. This process is one which typically entails a stay of multiple days in the hospital.

You will be held in the hospital not only for the long surgical process but for the extended recovery time. You will be monitored for up to three days assuming there are no complications in your procedure. After this it can take three months for you to recover fully as well as a significant amount of time spent working with a licensed physical therapist to help restore functionality, strength, and motion in the joint which was replaced.

Minor surgery constitutes anything which can be performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning anything which does not require you to stay under observation for more than one day in the hospital. Minor surgeries are performed with arthroscopic tools. It is not possible to perform a joint replacement through a scope, so none of those are considered minor. An arthroscopic procedure is one where the Gilbert orthopedic surgeon makes a small incision in the affected area through which they insert a long tube attached to which is a small camera. This camera sends live feed of the inside of your joints directly to the operating room monitors so that the surgeon cannot only locate the damaged area, but rectify it on the spot.

Knee ArthroscopyWhen repairs are made on the spot, the Chandler orthopedic surgeon makes a secondary incision through which small surgical tools are inserted. These tools in conjunction with the small camera are used to repair the damage to your joint. This type of procedure is considered minor because you do not have to stay under observation overnight. Instead you can simply check into the hospital and have a surgical procedure finished within two hours and check out.

The main difference between these two processes is whether or not you’re affected area has to be cut open entirely and how long you have to stay overnight. In some circumstances what starts as a minor surgery can turn into a major surgery if there are complications in the middle of the process. This can happen if the East Valley orthopedic surgeon uses arthroscopic measures to examine the affected area and during this examination uncovers unanticipated complications for more severe injuries and were thought to exist. When this happens you may be required to stay overnight after the surgery has been completed or you may be required to return after your initial incision has healed so that you can have a comprehensive full and major surgery.

OSPI is the top orthopedic practice in the East Valley, serving patients from Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Mesa, Maricopa, Casa Grande and surrounding areas. Most insurance is accepted, call OSPI today at 480-899-4333!

Understanding Rotator Cuff Tendinitis – Info from OSPI

The rotator cuff is a grouping of four muscles and tendons attached to the inside of your shoulder joint. Together these muscles and tendons allow your shoulder to remain stable and to move inside of the shoulder joint.

So what is rotator cuff tendinitis?

Rotator cuff tendinitis is something that happens when the tendons inside of your rotator cuff become irritated. This irritation causes the lining of rotator cuff bursitisthe tendon to become inflamed. Normally this lining is very smooth and if it becomes inflamed it can lead to a significant torn tendon or muscle. When your tendon has been used too much or it becomes injured it can increase the chances of a torn tendon.

What usually happens is the soft tissues start to rub up against the bone of the shoulder. This leads to significant inflammation, swelling and pain.

What causes rotator cuff tendinitis?

Your shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. This means that you have a socket and a ball inside of which your bones sit. The top part of the arm bone joins together with the shoulder blade. And the rotator cuff is what holds the top of your arm bone inside of your shoulder blade and is responsible for controlling your movement.

Tendinitis happens when the tendons inside of this area move underneath the bone while they are still attached to the top part of your arm. This can take place if your tendon becomes inflamed and it can also happen when they regularly move and fray over the bone. Each time this happens it causes significantly more fraying to the shoulder. If this happens enough you can lead to a bone spur developing inside of the small area. Regular bone spurs can lead to rotator cuff tendinitis.

Most often rotator cuff tendinitis is caused by playing sports where you have to move your arm regularly over your head. This can include movements such as pitching during baseball or tennis. But it can also because by work, if you have to regularly move your arms over your head for your job. Painting and carpentry or to such examples of jobs where this can take place. Even gardening can lead to tendinitis.

The common symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis include mild pain when the arm is lifted above the head. When you try to reach for something over your head or you ospi_smallbrush your hair you might experience mild pain at the front part of your shoulder which travels to the side of your arm. This pain should stop before it reaches your elbow. But if the mild pain does not go away it can be an indication of something much more serious.

It is in cases like this that you should meet with our Gilbert orthopedic surgeon and discuss your options. In some cases you will have to work with a licensed physical therapist to help strengthen and naturally improve the muscles around your shoulder.


OSPI accepts most insurance plans, and offers several Board Certified sports medicine doctors who are experts in the treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis and tears. Call 480-899-4333 for more information and scheduling today with orthopedic surgeons Gilbert and Chandler trust!

How to treat an ACL injury in Gilbert AZ

The ACL is one of four ligaments located in the knee responsible for providing stabilization to your joint. The most common injuries sustained to this area is a torn ACL.

What is a torn ACL?

When this ligament goes through the front part of your knee and it passes through the center of it, it provides stability for rotation movements. Especially during recreational activities like soccer that involve twisting. ACL tear ice on knee

A torn ACL can happen if there is a sudden change in direction for your knee. For example: if your knee has been locked into one position facing to the east, and you suddenly change and try to face toward the west, it can cause the ligament to become torn. It can also take place if you try to pick it when your knee is still in the locked position.

Most of the time such injuries are sustained while playing a sport or during physical activity. The ligament can become partially torn through regular sports and it can become fully torn when you keep your foot planted in your knee locked but then you try to twist and pivot your knee at the same time.

This is something that occurs regularly in gymnastics, soccer, football, and basketball. Take for example a soccer player who is running down the field chasing the ball, and then firmly plants a foot and knee in the locked position to receive a pass, but suddenly the other team intercepts the soccer ball and kicks it back down toward the opposite end of the field. If the athlete keeps the knee in the locked position and tries to pivot quickly, it can cause damage. This sudden change in the stress is what damages the ligament. But these injuries can also be sustained at lower speeds.

The most common symptom is a large popping sound followed by immediate pain in the knee and swelling. Typically it’s not subtle.

Women actually stand to sustain this type of damage more so compared to their male counterparts because of the different muscle function and anatomy. Women actually have a wider pelvis compared to men and this wider pelvis causes the femur to meet the tibia at a greater angle compared to men.

The meeting of the femur and tibia increases the force that the ACL ligament needs to withstand when the body is twisted. This measure alone increases the risk of damage to the ACL. The muscles in the female body are more elastic which means that they decreased the protection given to the hamstring and the ACL. Hormonal changes which happened with menstruation can cause even greater elasticity which increases the risk of a torn ACL even more.

After tearing an ACL, it is best to have it reconstructed. This way, the athlete can get back to the same level of sports activity as prior. While it doesn’t always occur, there would not be another way to reach elite activity levels. The Gilbert orthopedic surgeons at OSPI are top sports medicine doctors, Board Certified, and have successfully treated hundreds of ACL tears with reconstruction.

Call OSPI for the top sports medicine treatment in the East Valley and all of AZ today – 480-899-4333!

How to recover after a total hip replacement in Gilbert AZ

Total hip replacement is a procedure where the ball and socket joint that you have naturally in your body is replaced with a plastic cup and metal ball, both of which simulate the normally functioning joint very well. If you are considering undergoing a hip replacement, you must recognize that this is an elective procedure and should be looked at as a last resort. Recovery from it is particular, and you must be cognizant of what things you can and cannot do after your surgery.hip arthritis picture

When you have a full total hip replacement surgery it takes a few hours in the operating room with a Gilbert orthopedic surgeon. You will be required to stay in the hospital for two to three days. The day of your surgery you will be groggy from the anesthesia.

The day after your surgery you should be able to start eating, and the physical therapists will get you out of bed. On the second and third day, you will increase your walking, and then be discharged from the hospital to your home or a rehabilitation center.

The discharge will come with explicit instructions from the medical staff on what things you can and cannot do following your surgery. Not only will you have to follow these instructions but you will be given medication to help manage the pain. You should not sit too low or lift anything over ten pounds. There is a risk of dislocation if this is not followed.

As time goes on, your ability to walk will gradually improve. Your orthopedic surgeon in Gilbert will see you in the office at the two week point, and at regular intervals after that. In addition, x-rays will be taken at certain time points to make sure the components are in satisfactory position.

Over 90% of hip replacements at OSPI end up with a satisfactory outcome. Patients are able to get back to increased recreational activities, and the chronic pain is dramatically decreased.

At OSPI, most insurance is accepted by the Board Certified total hip and knee specialists in Gilbert AZ. The expert treatments are performed in a contemporary setting, call 480-899-4333 today!