What is the difference between anterior and posterior hip replacement?

Dr. Daniel R. Spogen, MD
Family Practitioner

The differences between anterior and posterior hip replacements include the following:

  • Anterior hip replacements are done through an incision in the anterior (front) thigh/groin region. Posterior hip replacements are done through the buttock muscles.
  • Anterior hip replacements have a lower risk of dislocation after surgery compared to posterior hip replacements.
  • Anterior hip replacements do not split the gluteus muscle, so recovery may be a bit easier than after surgery using the posterior approach.
  • With the anterior approach, the piriformis muscles may be detached for prosthesis placement and cannot be reattached. With the posterior replacement the pirirformis muscles can be reattached.
  • Anterior hip replacements are technically more challenging since muscles are not split and visualization is through muscle planes.
  • A special surgical table is needed for the anterior approach, which may not be available in all hospitals.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.