Dr. Grutter focuses on minimizing pain after surgery and getting patients back on their feet as quickly as possible. For people with advanced hip arthritis this can mean using an anterior approach for hip replacement which can be done as an outpatient in select patients.
Anterior approach total hip replacement is a minimally invasive surgery for people suffering with arthritis, hip pain, stiffness and limited hip movement. The Anterior Approach is a proven technique that minimizes the pain and the time from surgery to recovery when compared to the more standard posterior or lateral approaches.
During Anterior Hip Replacement the surgeon uses an incision in the front of the hip. Using an anterior incision the hip can be replaced without cutting muscles or tendons. The surgeon works through natural intervals between the muscles. The hip muscles are preserved and do not require a healing process to recover following surgery. Because the muscles are not cut during Anterior Hip Replacement surgery patients are allowed to immediately bend the hip freely and bear full weight as tolerated. Patients generally recover faster and return to normal function more quickly.
Following conventional lateral or posterior surgery patients typically have restrictions because the muscles are cut during surgery. The restrictions for posterior or lateral hip replacement surgery typically include limiting flexing of the hip to no more than 60 to 90 degrees which complicates normal activities like sitting in a chair, on a toilet seat, putting on shoes or getting into a car.
Dr. Grutter uses an anterior approach for the majority of hip replacements which generally allows patients to recover faster with virtually no restrictions following surgery.
Dr. Grutter also uses specialized postoperative clinical pathways which focus on improved pain management, and early mobilization. Using these techniques we have decreased the average length of hospital stay following joint replacement. For patients without other significant medical problems anterior hip replacement can even be done as an outpatient surgery. Outpatient total hip replacements have their surgery in the mornings and are generally home recovering in the comfort of their own home the same afternoon.
Whether joint replacement is done as an outpatient procedure or with a short hospital stay, we can usually perform a surgery with fewer complications, lower out-of-pocket costs and better outcomes. See also Direct Anterior Hip Replacement video.