Why is it different?
Hip replacement surgery has been used to treat joint disease since the 1960s.  It replaces the head of the thigh bone and the ball-and-socket mechanism in the hip with artificial implants.  Traditionally, the operation was done making a 10- to 12-inch incision on the side of the hip. The muscles would then be detached from the hip, which would be dislocated.  In recent years, however, a new technique called the Anterior Approach to total hip replacement has been developed.  It allows the surgeon to perform the surgery through a smaller incision and without detaching the muscles from either the hip or thigh bone.

What do our doctors think?
“The Anterior Approach to hip replacement allows me to access the hip joint without cutting any muscle,” says Dr. Jeffrey Garrett, a physician at North Fulton Hospital.  “This technique utilizes the natural space between muscles, which minimizes number of places I have to cut the tissues.  This provides the potential for a quicker recovery when compared to traditional hip replacement surgery.”

Benefits of the Anterior Approach

Possible accelerated recovery time because key muscles are not detached during the operation.

  • Potential for fewer restrictions during recovery.  Although each patient responds differently, this procedure seeks to help patients more freely bend their hip and bear their full weight immediately or soon after surgery.
  • Possible reduced scarring because the technique allows for one relatively small incision.  Since the incision is on the front side of the leg, patients may be spared from the pain of sitting on scar tissue.


Is there anything else I need to know?
Hip replacement surgery, whether traditional or anterior, is performed to help decrease pain, increase mobility and improve quality of life. It may be recommended if other treatment methods, such as exercise, walking aids or medication, are not effective. High-impact activities, including tennis, basketball and jogging, should be avoided after surgery. Instead, patients can walk, swim or ride a stationary bicycle to increase muscle strength and improve cardiovascular health without injuring their new hip.

I’m interested in speaking with a doctor. How do I find one?
North Fulton Hospital strives to provide state of the art medical services so its patients receive the highest quality of care possible, and the Anterior Approach to total hip replacement is one of the newest innovations added to the array of services they can provide.  For more information or a referral to a provider at North Fulton Hospital that performs the Anterior Approach to hip replacement, call 770-751-2600.