Anterior Hip Replacement Surgical Procedure

Dr Rodda and Dr Connon have a special interest in primary (Anterior Minimally Invasive Surgery), hip replacement, complex revision hip replacement surgery and hip fracture management. Dr Rodda and Dr Connon’s knowledge, experience and attention to detail and the time they invest with each patient during treatment and post-surgery, are the reasons many patients make Sunshine Coast Orthopaedic group their surgery of choice.

Anterior Hip Replacement

Anterior minimally invasive surgery (also known as the Direct Anterior Approach or DAA) is an alternative surgical technique used in total hip replacement procedures.

To reduce the risk of injury to muscles, tendons, vessels and nerves, the procedure involves accessing the hip joint from between two muscles at the front of the hip, rather than detaching muscle from the back or side of the hip.

As no muscles are detached or cut during the surgery, this aids in more rapid recovery for the patient.

In a traditional anterior hip replacement, the patient lies in a lateral position and an incision is made on the side or back of the hip. The incision in a DAA which is approximately 6-10cm long,  is either made as an oblique skin incision over the top of your hip joint, hidden in the region of your groin or bikini line (what some surgeons call a Bikini Hip Replacement) or through a short straight incision, while the patient is lying on their back.  The type of incision depends on your body type and which is more suitable.

The worn surfaces of the hip are removed and replaced with artificial components. Metal is used for all components however the bearing surfaces may be metal, ceramic or plastic, depending on your individual circumstances.


The anterior hip replacement procedure offers the following benefits:

  • Quicker recovery time due to tissue-sparing procedure
  • Smaller incision (approximately 6-10cm long)
  • X rays can be taken during procedure to assist in correct implant placement and to check leg length
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less post-operative pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Less pain medication required (avoiding nausea and constipation)
  • Fewer post-operative restrictions (such as crutches, special chair height, sleeping on side)
  • Lower risk of post-operative dislocation
  • More rapid return to employment or independent living

There are a few potential disadvantages to this technique:

  • Less visible exposure of hip available to the surgeon during surgery
  • Less accuracy in implant placement (especially for larger patients)
  • Higher risk of infection for patients who are overweight
  • Method is more difficult to learn and perform than traditional surgery therefore overall risk may be greater

Why should I consider DAA?

If you are concerned about the risks of general hip replacement surgery and if your body type is suitable for DAA then the benefits of opting for this method of surgery are greater.

Who is suitable for surgery?

Dr Rodda or Dr Connon are able to perform an anterior hip replacement in most patients, however depending on your circumstances another approach may be more suitable. Dr Rodda or Dr Connon will discuss this with you at your initial consultation.

Will I have much pain?

Pain levels for this type of surgery are usually less than in a traditional hip replacement.

Do I need physiotherapy when I go home?

You will be given a sheet of exercises from the physiotherapist when you leave hospital.  You should follow these exercises as instructed if you want to have a quick recovery.

When can I return to driving?

You should be able to drive your car after a couple of weeks however as with all surgery this depends on the speed of your recovery and the success of the operation.



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