What is the best way for a Doctor to operate for a full hip replacement from the front or back of the hip?
Dr. Ray Chin
Dr. Ray Chin
Orthopaedic surgeon
Rhodes
The best way is the approach chosen by your surgeon to be able to comfortably and accurately place the implants in the desired position for the best long term results.The anterior (front) approach is muscle sparing with short term benefits. The posterior (back) approach is more frequently used by many surgeons in Australia.
This is a discussion to have with your orthopaedic surgeon.

Dr. Michael Ottley
Dr. Michael Ottley
Orthopaedic surgeon
Brisbane
The best way is the way that your surgeon has been appropriately trained and is most comfortable performing. The anterior (front) approach offers short term benefits, probably for the first 6 weeks at most and then appears comparable to all other approaches including posterior (back) and anterolateral approaches which are performed much more frequently in Australia. However, inexperience with the anterior approach can result in multiple complications including poor positioning of components and fractures which may well result in poor longterm survival of the hip replacement.
Ultimately you want your hip replacement to last as long as possible and current evidence shows that any surgical approach done well will help to contribute to that equally.

Dr. Rabi Solaiman
Dr. Rabi Solaiman
Orthopaedic surgeon
Mount Waverley
Most Australian Surgeons are trained to do a hip replacement through posterior approach. It is a safe and reproducible procedure with good long term data to support it. It also has a low learning curve. Anterior approach has become popular in recent years due to aggressive marketing. In fact it is not a new approach. It has been used in some parts of Europe such as Austria and Switzerland for over 30 years. It has a high learning curve and as such a high complication rate during the surgeon's first 50 to 100 hips. All the studies show that here is no difference in the outcome after the first 6 weeks. As a patient, you should choose your surgeon and let him do whatever approach he is most comfortable with and well trained in. This will ensure a consistent and successful outcome.

Dr. Dirk van Bavel
Dr. Dirk van Bavel
Orthopaedic surgeon
Hawthorn East
The Arthroplasty Society of the Australian Orthopaedic Association in their position statement have said"There is no Scientific evidence that endorses one surgical approach over the other"
The most important thing is to have your operation performed well using a prosthesis that has excellent long term results.

Dr. Chien-Wen Liew
Dr. Chien-Wen Liew
Orthopaedic surgeon, General surgeon
Morphett Vale
Whilst there are many studies comparing different approaches, the best one is one that is performed frequently by a surgeon. Often the anecdotal evidence can give you real life examples of the differences. Speak to as many people as you can about their experiences with total hip replacement surgery, and you will get a feel of what you would like.
It is preferably that you seek good results from a surgeon, whether it be via the direct anterior approach, or the posterior approach for the best possible outcome.
There are more than just the 2 approaches being used today - such as the lateral approach. Research shows that it is mostly comparable, but with issues with ongoing limp, however it is still being performed by some surgeons.
The research into approaches is still evolving, however most surgeons feel strongly about the approach they perform.

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