Anterior Hip Replacement

Direct anterior hip replacement is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can be used to remove a hip joint that has been damaged by an injury, such as a pelvic or femoral head fracture, or a disease, such as osteoarthritis, and replace it with an artificial implant.

Multiple approaches can be used to perform a total hip replacement with the most common being the posterior, anterior, and lateral.

Traditionally, a total hip replacement was performed by a surgeon using either the posterior or lateral approach. However, as technology and surgical techniques advanced throughout the years, the anterior approach to hip replacement became more common, since it was a minimally invasive, muscle-sparing procedure that provided long-term results equal to or greater than those of the traditional hip replacement surgery.

One of the key differences between the anterior, posterior, and lateral approaches to hip replacement surgery is the incision location. Each approach makes them in a different spot. In the posterior approach to hip replacement surgery, the incisions are made at the back of the hip. In the lateral approach, the incisions are made on the side of the hip, and in the anterior approach to hip replacement, the incisions are made at the front of the hip.

Because the anterior approach uses the front of the hip, the surgeon can work between the muscles surrounding the hip joint. It also provides better access to the hip joint without having to disrupt or cut into muscles, tendons, or other soft tissue surrounding the joint, which allows the anterior approach to hip replacement to provide patients with the following benefits:

  • Better range of motion following surgery
  • Decreased inflammation after surgery
  • Faster recovery
  • Less muscle trauma
  • Less postoperative pain
  • Lower risk of dislocation


Before recommending a surgical approach, our orthopedic surgeons may suggest nonsurgical treatment options, such as physical therapy or medication. Hip surgery is usually only considered once other approaches have proven to be ineffective at providing relief or if your hip pain has significantly increased.

If hip surgery is recommended for you, your doctor will discuss the available surgical options for your hip injury or condition. If you and your doctor decide that a total hip replacement is your best option, your doctor may suggest anterior hip replacement if you are a good candidate for it.

Anterior hip replacement is performed under anesthesia. After making an incision anterior to your hip joint, your surgeon will move the muscles and other tissues that are in front of the joint to the side to provide better access to your joint. The surgeon will then remove the upper part of your thigh bone as well as any damaged bone or cartilage on your pelvic bone before placing the artificial ball and socket and closing the incision.

We will provide you with a comprehensive continuum of care after surgery and throughout your recovery to ensure you heal properly and experience long-term satisfaction. You will need to attend all your follow-up appointments and carefully follow your surgeon's instructions.


At Orthopedic Associates, our team of board-certified specialists and staff strive for excellence in orthopedic medicine and podiatry, offering exceptional knowledge and skill in every patient encounter. When diagnosing injuries and conditions, our doctors consider all factors and options before offering a care recommendation and are committed to attempting nonsurgical treatment options first before recommending orthopedic surgery. Our fellowship-trained adult hip and knee reconstruction surgeon, Dr. Christopher Mudd, specializes in the muscle-sparing direct anterior approach to hip replacement and has extensive training and experience in minimally invasive joint replacement. Dr. Mudd will work with you to develop a patient-specific treatment plan that meets your individual needs and concerns.

All along the way—from diagnosis to treatment and surgery as well as postoperative recovery—we are here for you. Our additional services, including digital X-ray, MRI, durable medical equipment (DME), physical therapy, and our state-of-the-art surgery center, are all conveniently accessible to you.

To see if anterior hip replacement is right for you or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mudd, please call (314) 714-3155. Dr. Mudd is available to see patients at our Main Office in St. Louis, Missouri, as well as at the Eleven South Professional Building in Columbia, Illinois.