Anterior approach THA results in less pain, fewer narcotics, increased function — 3 insights

A study, published in The Journal of Arthroplasty, examined whether surgical approach affected total hip arthroplasty outcomes.

Larry Miller, PhD, of Miller Scientific Consulting, and colleagues examined how an anterior approach or posterior approach impacted THA's surgical outcomes.

Researchers conducted a systematic review of 13 studies including 524 THA patients treated with an anterior approach and 520 patients treated with a posterior approach. Measured outcomes included pain severity, narcotic usage, hip function and complication rate.

Researchers found:

1. An anterior approach was associated with lower pain severity, lower narcotic usage and improved hip function when compared to a posterior approach at 90 days.

2. There were, however, no differences in dislocation, fracture, hematoma, infection, thromboembolic event or reoperation rates between the two approaches at 90 days.

3. Researchers subjected the results to a sensitivity analysis. The results remained unchanged.

Researchers concluded, "Patients treated with AA reported less pain, consumed fewer narcotics, and reported better hip function. ... Ultimately, the choice of surgical approach in primary THA should consider preference and experience of the surgeon as well as preference and anatomy of the patient."

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