My mother-in-law recently underwent the new “minimally invasive anterior approach” hip replacement surgery. That’s a mouthful, but it is turning out to be the least painful and quickest recovery when it comes to hip replacement surgery! I was amazed at her speedy recovery and how good she felt after her hip replacement. Knowing others that have gone with the traditional posterior approach, I watched the agonizing and slow rehabilitation process that is so commonplace and the associated healing time in the 6 month range. With the anterior approach, we are talking about possibly walking and going back to your pre-surgery workout routine in 6 weeks. Amazing!
The Minimally Invasive Anterior Approach
The anterior approach is a surgical approach from the front of the hip joint, as opposed to a lateral (side) approach to the hip or posterior (back) approach. An important factor is that the musculature is not detached from the pelvis or femur. The hip is replaced through a natural plane between the muscles and tendons keeping the quads and glutes intact. Special operating room equipment is required for this technique, as well as special physician training. You may have to travel to find a specialist that can do this procedure, but it is worth it. You can learn more about this procedure at Dr. Kreuzer’s website (http://www.stefankreuzermd.com/), a surgeon mentored by the pioneer of this procedure in the U.S., Dr. Joel Matta.
Helpful Pre Surgery Tidbit
I was so compelled to understand how this was possible that I did a little research and found an interesting tidbit to make this procedure, as well as other surgical procedures, a better experience. Comparing notes from a Blog post written by a man that was in good pre-surgery fitness to my mother-in-law who was in okay condition, the man had less pain and was mobile earlier in the recovery process. The key here was the pre-surgery muscle condition. The man, even with the deteriorating hip joint, continued to strengthen his lower body muscles, compared to my mother-in-law who did less and had more lower body deconditioning at the time of the surgery. This is common with most hip replacement candidates, because there is a great amount of pain with everyday tasks such as walking and climbing steps. So, it seems that better conditioning pre-surgery, leads to better recovery post-surgery.
You may be saying to yourself as you read this, “What can I do though, it hurts to bad to do activities?” A solution to maintain or even strengthen your lower body is to use the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill™! “What is that?” you ask. It is a revolutionary new training and rehabilitation treadmill designed specifically to decrease the impact on lower body joints. It allows you to be mobile without all the downward force from gravity on your joints. The treadmill can be adjusted to the exact point where you feel no more pain and move safely and freely. “Where do I find an AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill?” This versatile piece of technology can be found in physical therapy offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and so many other locations across the country. To find a location near you, visit the AlterG Locator website page.