Anterior Hip Replacement a Safer, More Natural Option, According to Leading Orthopedic
Surgeons at OrthoArizona - AOA
Phoenix Orthopedic Group That Introduced Procedure to Arizona and Has Performed the Most
Anterior Hip Surgeries in the State Answers Common Misconceptions.
Phoenix, AZ, United States, September 24, 2013 -- According to Arizona’s leading group of
orthopedic surgeons, OrthoArizona - Arizona Orthopaedic Associates, anterior hip replacements are
much safer alternatives to traditional posterior hip replacements.
The Phoenix orthopedic group introduced the anterior hip approach to Arizona and has since
completed more than 1,200 such surgeries. The group’s expertise at the procedure has been featured
in The New York Times as well as many other leading publications. And with hip replacements in
America almost doubling over the past 10 years, the group believes that the anterior hip
replacement approach is not only here to stay, but will also become the preferred procedure.
The anterior hip replacement performed by OrthoArizona - Arizona Orthopaedic Associates utilizes
a special $100,000, OSI-Pro-FX, or HANA, table that enables AOA physicians to replace the hip
through a single 4- to 5-inch incision, without detaching or cutting muscles. The OSI-Pro-FX table
allows for a positioning option not possible with conventional tables and intraoperative x-ray
ensures precise placement of the hip. This results in reduced pain, less muscle trauma, a lower risk
of dislocation and a shorter hospital stay. It can also cut recovery times by up to three months.
Misconceptions still abound regarding the procedure, as well as several myths. OrthoArizona -
Arizona Orthopaedic Associates surgeon Dr. David Ott said this is common with new procedures.
"When a new procedure is introduced, there is going to be some skepticism," Dr. Ott said. "We’re
challenging the traditional technique of a major surgery. This doesn’t make it risky, it means that
we are on top of our game when it comes to the care of our patients."
Dr. Ott said the anterior approach rarely requires a transfusion, so much so that AOA surgeons have
discontinued recommending patients donate blood for such surgeries because they found it
unnecessary. The anterior approach uses a state-of-the-art operating table and intraoperative x-ray,
which helps the Phoenix-based orthopedic surgeons group have patients walking the same day as
surgery and returning to full mobility within 2-8 weeks, instead of the typical 2-4 months needed
after traditional surgery. Since no muscle is cut during the replacement procedure, a patient’s
recovery time is significantly shorter.
Phoenix resident Mike Hecomovich can attest to the shorter recovery time for the anterior hip
replacement. Both of Hecomovich’s hips have been replaced - one using the traditional posterior
hip replacement approach and, most recently, with an anterior hip replacement performed by Dr.
Ott. "The difference between the two is night and day," Hecomovich said. "The new approach is far
superior to the old approach. I could have left the day after the anterior procedure. It was that much
Risk of major artery injury
Dr. Ott said some people believe there is an inherent danger in performing an anterior hip
replacement; that major blood vessels can be damaged, leading to significant artery injury.
"The most common question I get asked is if blood vessels can be damaged during the procedure,"
Dr. Ott said. "There is little risk of this during the anterior approach. Less blood loss has eliminated
self-donation of blood for the most part because it’s just not needed for transfusions anymore. I
have not heard of anyone that has sustained any injuries to their major blood vessels. The femoral
arteries are not even close in vicinity to the field of surgery. This not to be confused with the
femoral nerve which is close during the anterior approach but not as close as the sciatic in the
Still others have been told by their physicians that the risk of dislocation is as great, if not greater,
with the anterior approach. The opposite is actually true. In fact, the orthopedic surgeons at AOA
have experienced lower dislocation rates with the anterior approach. Since no muscles are cut
during the procedure, there are fewer muscles to rehabilitate following the procedure. "The anterior
procedure has removed the ‘hip precautions' stigma after the surgery is complete," Dr. Ott said.
"There is virtually no restriction in leg position, no limits on bending and no pesky wedge between
your legs for six weeks.”
The OSI-Pro-FX table allows AOA surgeons to simply work through the natural interval between
the muscles, leaving the most important muscles for hip function - the gluteal muscles that attach to
the pelvis and femur - undisturbed, providing patients with the least invasive (and muscle sparing)
procedure available and faster recovery time. "When I got out of bed for the first time after the
anterior hip replacement, I was shocked at the difference," said Hecomovich, an avid golfer. "With
the posterior hip replacement, I was very tentative on my feet, worried about a dislocation. After the
anterior hip replacement, I was chipping and putting golf balls within two weeks."
Safe joint replacement
The recall of DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.’s ASR XL Acetabular metal-on-metal hip replacement
system made headlines in 2010. The failure rate of the joint was deemed high and DePuy recalled
the product. Three years later, many patients are still concerned about the safety of hip
replacements. "The hip replacement surgery was not the problem, it was the particular joint that was
unsafe," Dr. Ott said. "We use different joints than the recalled ASR XL Acetabular metal-on-metal
joint. As the leading provider of anterior hip replacements in Arizona, patients trust that their
surgery performed by AOA surgeons will be safe."
Still, surgeons not familiar with the procedure are sometimes hesitant to recommend it, Dr. Ott said.
That hesitancy comes more from a fear of the unknown than any hard scientific data, he said. The
anterior approach is a relatively new technique, learned after residency training and because of that,
some doctors caution against it. "Surgeons not familiar with the procedure can feel lost at first, and
that’s when the procedure can become risky," Dr. Ott said. "It’s an extraordinary procedure and a
long overdue improvement for modern medicine."
For more information on OrthoArizona - Arizona Orthopaedic Associates, please call (602) 631-
3161 or visit www.aoa.md. Find out more about OrthoArizona - Arizona Orthopaedic Associates on
Facebook at www.facebook.com/aoaatgateway and Twitter at www.twitter.com/aoaatgateway.
About OrthoArizona - Arizona Orthopaedic Associates:
OrthoArizona - Arizona Orthopaedic Associates strives to improve the quality of life of patients and
their families through outstanding orthopedic care. OrthoArizona - Arizona Orthopaedic Associates
is committed to excellence by pledging to provide the highest quality of orthopedic care possible.
Along with the treatment of immediate or chronic problems, top-rated and board-certified
orthopedic surgeons strive to integrate the doctrine of prevention in all treatment plans as a way to
alleviate possible future difficulties.
OrthoaArizona - Arizona Orthopaedic Associates
690 N. Cofco Center Ct, Suite 290
Phoenix, AZ 85008