A New Front in Hip Replacement

Hip joint replacements have been used for decades to help patients with severe arthritis or injury regain their mobility and live without pain and stiffness.  

The classical technique is the posterior, or back side, approach, but in recent years, thanks to new technology, the anterior, or front, approach has gained popularity.

“Each approach has its own advantages and risks, but six months after surgery, the result is the same. The patient feels great and, in most cases, can return to the activities they enjoyed before their pain started,” says R. Lance Montgomery, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Saddleback Medical Center. 

Dr. Montgomery always uses the approach best suited to the patient’s anatomy. Pelvic structure, obesity, heavy musculature or prior surgery may dictate a posterior approach, but if the anterior approach can be used, it enables him to reach the joint by separating—rather than cutting and reattaching—the muscles.

“Preserving the muscles means less trauma and faster rehabilitation,” says Dr. Montgomery. “With both approaches, we get patients up and walking a few hours post-surgery, but with the anterior approach, patients are well on their way to a full recovery after just three weeks. Also, the lower risk of post-surgical dislocation has a positive psychological impact.” 

Saddleback Medical Center recently acquired the technically advanced Hana® surgical table to improve access to the hip joint during an anterior approach to the hip.

The Hana® table allows the leg to be safely positioned and held steady at any angle, providing a clear view of the hip joint through a smaller incision. Implants are positioned more easily, and accuracy is confirmed through intraoperative X-rays. Any necessary adjustments can be made before closing the wound. The result is more precise placement, less soft-tissue trauma, faster recovery and higher patient satisfaction.

To find an orthopedic specialist, visit memorialcare.org/sbjointreplacement or call 1.800.MEMORIAL (1.800.636.6742).

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MemorialCare is a nonprofit integrated healthcare delivery system that includes leading hospitals – Long Beach Medical Center, Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach, Community Medical Center Long Beach, Orange Coast Medical Center, and Saddleback Medical Center; award-winning medical groups – MemorialCare Medical Group and Greater Newport Physicians; Seaside Health Plan; and convenient outpatient health centers, imaging centers, breast centers, surgical centers, and dialysis centers throughout Orange and Los Angeles Counties.

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