Direct Anterior Hip Replacement Specialist

Wolfson Orthopedics

Nikolaj Wolfson, MD, FRCSC, FACS

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon located in Lower Pacific Heights, San Francisco, CA

Skilled orthopedic surgeon Nikolaj Wolfson, MD, was among the first to offer the direct anterior approach for total hip replacement. He performs direct anterior hip replacement procedures at Wolfson Orthopedics in the Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. To find out if direct anterior hip replacement is right for you, call or book an appointment online today.

Direct Anterior Hip Replacement Q & A

What is direct anterior hip replacement?

The direct anterior approach is a minimally invasive technique for total hip replacement, also known as hip arthroplasty. Traditional hip replacement involves making an incision on the side or back of your hip, both of which require detaching muscles and tendons to access the joint. 

Direct anterior hip replacement uses an incision on the front of your hip. This procedure is minimally invasive because it allows your surgeon to move muscles along their natural plane without detaching the tendons. 

What are the benefits of a direct anterior hip replacement?

In traditional hip replacement, the detached tendons and muscles may take several months, even years, to heal. If these muscles don’t heal properly, you may be at higher risk of hip dislocation, which is the leading cause of hip replacement failure. 

Because the direct anterior approach doesn’t require detaching tendons, it offers many benefits over traditional surgery, including:

  • Less pain
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Improved hip function
  • Reduced risk of dislocation
  • Faster return to normal activities

The team at Wolfson Orthopedics always uses the least invasive treatment possible, but direct anterior hip replacement isn’t right for everyone. In certain situations, such as cases of abnormal hip anatomy, a traditional approach may be the safest option for hip replacement. 

What should I expect from a direct anterior hip replacement?

The team at Wolfson Orthopedics specializes in direct anterior hip replacement. First, they perform a physical exam and review your medical history to make sure you’re a good candidate for total hip replacement with an anterior approach. This may include imaging tests, such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. 

Then, they develop a personalized surgical plan. The Wolfson Orthopedics team discusses your options for anesthesia and explains how you should prepare for surgery. 

During the procedure, your surgeon makes an incision 3-4 inches long in the front of your hip. Then, they remove the damaged tissue and replace it with an artificial hip made of metal and plastic.

Direct anterior hip replacement typically takes 1-2 hours. After the procedure, most patients stay in the hospital overnight and go home the following afternoon. Physical therapy begins the same day as surgery and continues throughout your rehabilitation process. 

To learn more about direct anterior hip replacement, call Wolfson Orthopedics or book an appointment online today.