Hip Replacement Approaches
Anterior, Posterior, Lateral & Minimally Invasive


Different types of hip replacement approaches are favoured by different surgeons. The one they chose to use on you will depend on their training, their experience, their personal preferences and on your condition.

In the following pages we will look at the four most commonly used approaches and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. 

The major muscle that needs to be negotiated en route to the hip joint is called the gluteus medius. All the approaches we will discuss are named in relation to it e.g. anterior is to the front of the gluteus medius.

Hip Replacement Approaches

There are four major approaches, with two additional options, available at this time. These are: -

Lateral Approach

The most widely used of these is the modified anterior-lateral approach - although the anterior approach is becoming increasingly popular.  

With the options of robotic arm assistance and the minimally invasive approach

Robotic Arm Assisted Surgery

The accurate siting of the implant is crucial to the success of the surgery and the longevity of the implant.  The use of a robotic-arm to help guide placement within fractions of a millimetre is becoming popular

Mininally Invasive Surgery

We will also look at minimally invasive surgery - (often abbreviated to MIS) which uses smaller incisions, is associated with earlier discharge from hospital and fewer post-operative restrictions. MIS is certainly popular with some surgeons and patients - but not all and the long-term outcomes are as yet unknown.


Where possible I have supplied a video showing each approach. These are the easiest way to understand the techniques associated with the different approaches. - Probably not too good for the squeamish though.

With the anterior-lateral approach video you're getting a real bonus - the chance to perform an operation on-line yourself! I found it absolutely fascinating and highly recommend you have a go. (I've done it three times already.) Don't worry, its not at all gory.

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