Modified Anterolateral Approach

The modified anterolateral approach is the most commonly used approach in contemporary hip replacement surgery.

The term 'surgical approach' refers to the place on your hip that the surgeon uses to access your hip joint

Advantages of the 
Modified Anterolateral Approach

  • It is relatively quick
  • The amount of blood lost is less than with some other approaches (i.e. anterior and trochanteric)
  • The rate of post-operative dislocation is low
  • Rehabilitation is quick
  • The patient will have a good range of movement

Disadvantages of the
Modified Anterolateral Approach

  • Access to the joint is not as good as in the original lateral approach (which involved removal of the trochanteric)
  • There is some risk of damage to the superior gluteal nerve
  • There is a risk of post-operative muscle weakness causing abduction and a limp

How Is the Modified Anterolateral Approach Carried Out?

The patient is placed on her side and a straight incision of about 10 centimetres is made down the thigh centred on the greater trochanter. The muscle beneath the incision is cut along the length of the fibres. When the gluteus medius and vastus lateralis (both muscles) are cut the joint capsule can be seen. The capsule is then cut open and the hip joint is replaced.

Want to have a go yourself?

The best way to learn about a surgical technique would be to do it yourself!  But most of us aren't going to be given that opportunity or probably don't even have the desire to.  No problem because I have found a wonderful - online do-it-yourself hip replacement program for you can play with.

edheads modified anterolateral approach

Learn more about:

Different types of Anesthetics
Different types of Hip Implants The debate around the Best Time for Hip Replacement Surgery

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