Fort Walton Beach, FL — FWB Medical Center now offers the anterior approach as an option for patients needing a total hip replacement. Total hip replacement with anterior approach refers to surgeries done from in front of the hip.

These surgeries may also be called mini, modified, minimally invasive, or muscle-sparing surgeries. Using the anterior approach allows the surgeon to do the surgery through a smaller surgical cut (incision). The cut is in the front of the hip rather than in the side or back, like in traditional hip replacements.

Dr. Thomas Seales and Dr. Leo Chen, orthopedic surgeons at FWB Medical Center, are the only two physicians currently using the anterior approach at FWB Medical Center.

The anterior approach has some additional benefits that many patients enjoy when they choose this method of hip replacement. These include:

  • Less major muscle damage: Because the anterior approach avoids cutting through muscle, this allows for less damage to occur as a result of the surgery. It also means surgeons don't have to make repairs to these muscles once the operation is complete.
  • Less pain: Patients typically don't experience as much pain because the surgeon doesn't have to cut through muscle.
  • Quicker recovery: After the surgery is complete, patients are encouraged to move and bear weight as soon as it's comfortable. This is often not possible with posterior hip replacements.
  • Decreased risk of hip dislocation: The muscles and soft tissue around the hip naturally prevent it from dislocating. When these are cut, as with the posterior method, there is a greater risk of hip dislocation. The anterior technique avoids this by not cutting into the muscle.