Anterior hip replacement

Thursday, January 10, 2013

By: Betsy Hansen

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Hip surgery does not have to be as daunting as you think! Anterior Hip Replacement is a new option for patients who are candidates for hip surgery. This innovative surgery allows patients to quickly return to their active lifestyle.


How does it work?


Surgeons cut an incision on the front of the body which can save weeks, possibly months of recovery time. Because of the front approach, the surgeon does not need to cut any large muscles; instead he will work between the muscles. This also reduces the chance of complications.



“There is less concern the patient will dislocate their hip and less risk of nerve damage with this method,” said Robert Limoni, MD, a BayCare Clinic orthopaedic surgeon. He and his colleague, Michael Schnaubelt, MD, are two of a few Wisconsin orthopaedic surgeons who perform anterior hip replacement surgery.


Other benefits


It’s common for patients of the traditional posterior hip surgery approach to have a leg length discrepancy post-surgery, meaning patients can end up with one longer leg. With anterior hip surgery’s front incision approach, this risk is significantly lessened.


While the “front” approach is new to hip replacement, it has been used for other procedures. Dr. Limoni learned how to use the anterior approach specifically for hip surgery two years ago while spending time in cadaver labs and shadowing other orthopaedic surgeons. Since then, he has done over 60 anterior hip replacements.


Dr. Limoni said most of his patients choose this surgery over the back approach.


“Patients do need decent bone quality for this surgery. But given the choice, most will opt for the anterior hip replacement,” said Dr. Limoni.


Shortened recovery


Only a small percentage of orthopaedic surgeons use this hip surgery method. But Dr. Limoni sees a huge advantage in the anterior approach.


“It’s a more difficult surgery but it’s so beneficial for my patients. They can get back to sports and activities quickly with fewer complications,” said Dr. Limoni.


The recovery time is much shorter with the anterior approach. Most patients can leave the hospital the next day, and in some cases, the same day. They are allowed to continue activities and sports without many restrictions.

Most patients are able to go home the next day and return to their active lifestyles without much restriction.



If you are interested in learning more about Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery, please call BayCare Clinic Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine at (920) 288-5555 or request an appointment online.

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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.