Minimally Invasive Anterior Hip Replacement at DCJR

Led by Dr. Dennis Chang and Dr. Mark Hammerberg, the Denver Center for Joint Replacement (DCJR) is one of the leading centers in the region performing anterior hip replacement surgery. The anterior hip approach allows for minimally invasive total hip replacement surgery that spares more healthy muscle and tissue and returns patients to their previous quality of life more quickly than traditional hip replacement surgery.

About the Anterior Hip Replacement Approach

In a hip replacement surgery with traditional techniques, the surgeon operates from the side (lateral) or the back (posterior) of the hip. These techniques require a comparatively large incision, 8-12 inches long, which disturbs the muscle and tissue surrounding the joint.

In contrast, the anterior hip replacement approach requires the surgeon make a comparatively smaller incision, 3-4 inches in length, at the front of the hip. The surgeon replaces the hip by gently moving muscles along their natural tissue plane, retracting them without cutting or detaching from the bone. That means the direct anterior approach is “muscle-sparing” in contrast to other methods that require cutting through or splitting muscle. This minimally invasive technique allows the surgeon to perform the hip replacement surgery without disturbing the surrounding tissue and muscles.

The Benefits of Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery

As a minimally invasive surgical technique, anterior hip replacement surgery can offer the patient several benefits over traditional hip replacement surgery. These benefits can include:

  • Less time in surgery, a shorter stay in the hospital, less rehabilitation time and less pain after surgery
  • A smaller, more precise incision with reduced impact and scarring to healthy tissue
  • Decreased risk of additional complications after surgery, including hip dislocation
  • May allow for a more natural return to normal function and activity

Although the benefits of minimally invasive anterior hip replacement are clear, the surgical technique is not widely practiced in the United States. It requires years of specialized training and expensive additional surgical equipment. Surgeons who are willing to complete additional education and training for the anterior hip replacement approach can offer superior surgical care to their patients.

Experienced Anterior Hip Surgeons

Drs. Chang and Hammerberg have been performing complex orthopedic surgery, including the anterior hip approach, for many years. Both surgeons are board-certified and fellowship-trained in orthopedic surgery and have a passion for hip and knee replacements, especially with innovative minimally invasive techniques.

“I’ve found the anterior hip replacement approach to be a game changer for my patients,” says Dr. Chang. “Patients come to me in need of a total hip replacement and tell me they’re dreading the process. They’re scared of the surgery, the scarring, the pain, the lengthy rehabilitation and the complications. It’s a joyful experience for me to help these patients understand that there are options to reducing their discomfort and getting their mobility and their quality of life back.”

Learn More

For more information about the anterior hip replacement approach, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chang or Dr. Hammerberg, please call (720) 754-4410.