In planning a hip replacement, one mistake both patients and doctors can make is to become overly concerned with the prosthetics rather than the surgical approach itself.

“People get too focused on what kind of parts and materials are being used,” Dr. Matta said. “That’s a good discussion to have, but what’s more important is what the surgeon will do during the operation. As surgeons, we need to ensure that the muscles around the hip aren’t disturbed, the parts are fitted and oriented properly, and that the leg length is correct. And it behooves us to perform hip replacements that don’t rely on our patients restricting their movements for the rest of their lives.”

Anterior approach patients have no restrictions on their movements. In contrast, patients undergoing traditional surgeries have an extensive list of movements they must avoid to prevent dislocating the new hip. Simple actions such as crossing legs and tying shoes normally may be permanently prohibited. Yoga is out. Even sitting on the toilet can risk dislocation.

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