There are several approaches a surgeon can take when performing a hip replacement. They can go through the buttock muscles (posterior), the side of the hip (anterolateral) or the front (anterior). The direct anterior approach is unique in that it allows the surgeon to preserve important muscles surrounding the hip joint that provide the most power for walking and stability.

In the direct anterior approach, the surgeon makes a small incision at the front of the hip joint and uses a specialized table and equipment to not detach or cut the hip muscles to replace the joint.



Minimally Invasive Direct Anterior Approach, Paul Enker, MD, Long Island Arthritis & Joint Replacement, PCThe benefits of the direct anterior approach include:

  • Quicker recovery time
  • A small incision
  • Reduced pain
  • Reduced need for narcotic medication
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Greater accuracy in leg lengths and implant positioning
  • No post-operative hip restrictions

Compared to a conventional hip replacement, there are no postoperative restrictions and the risk for dislocation is significantly lower. Patients can sleep without the need for a pillow between their legs and enjoy a standard toilet seat. 123  

To learn more about this procedure, read this educational brochure.



1 Matta JM, Ferguso TA. The anterior approach for hip replacement. Orthopedics. 2005 Sep;28(9): 927-8.

2 Restrepo, C I, Parvizi J, Pour AE, Wozak WJ. Prospective randomized study of two surgical approaches for total hip arthroplasty. J Arthroplasty. 2010 Aug; 25 (5): 671-9.ei.doi : 10.1016 / j.arth. 2010.02.002. Epub 2010 Apr8.

3 Munro, CA. The perioperative nurse’s role in table-enhanced anterior total hip arthroplasty. AORN Journal. 2009 July.