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Anterior total hip arthroplasties and treatment options

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“About 20 percent of adults will experience hip pain at some point in their life,” says Dr. Michael Schnaubelt, an orthopedic surgeon with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic.

Schnaubelt made the remarks during a recent Facebook livestream where he discussed hip pain and the anterior total hip arthroplasty approach to resolving hip pain.

Hip pain is a common symptom of conditions like arthritis, muscle or tendon tears, fractures or dislocations and bursitis among other ailments.

When non-surgical treatments such as anti-inflammatories, cortisone injections, heat or ice compresses, activity modification and physical therapy fail to ease hip pain, surgery might be the best remaining option, Schnaubelt says.

Schnaubelt is a proponent of the anterior total hip arthroplasty. It’s an option in which the orthopedic surgeon accesses the hip from the front of the body, enabling the surgeon to separate the surrounding muscles, rather than cut and reattach them.

Posterior hip replacement is another common procedure where the surgeon enters the body through an incision close to the buttocks or side of the hip, often cutting through muscle.

Entering the hip through the front or anterior area results in less trauma to the soft tissues around the hip, fostering a speedier recovery, Schnaubelt explained.

“The number of hip replacements done across the country is about 350,000 a year and that number is expected to increase even more mainly as the Baby Boomers are getting older,” Schnaubelt says. “There’s a lot more people expecting to live longer and be more active and needing more joint replacements.”

There is no need to live with hip pain, he says.

“If it’s something that’s really bad, really severe and it’s not going away, it’s not getting better with Tylenol or anti-inflammatories … then certainly either call us or depending on your insurance and the way it works, get in with your regular doctor and at least have them get some X-rays and take a peek at it. … Definitely get it checked out.”

Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Author: Femi Cole