Questions To Ask Before Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery

The 5 Questions You Must Ask Your Doctor Before Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery

by James Loging, MDLeave a Comment

So you have to have hip replacement surgery. You’ve done your research and realize that anterior hip replacement surgery is the best way to go and that’s how you want it done. Now what? Time to find a surgeon who can perform anterior hip replacement surgery for you.

Unfortunately, this can be difficult sometimes, as certain parts of the country don’t have a surgeon who performs it. If this is your case, then you may have to be willing to travel a short or long distance to have surgery. It’s definitely worth the effort to travel.

Once you have found a surgeon who performs it, you still have to do your research. Just like not all hip approaches are the same, not all surgeons the same. There are several questions you want to ask before anterior hip replacement surgery.

1. How long have you been performing anterior hip surgery?

First you want to know how long the surgeon has been performing anterior hip replacement surgery and how many they have done. It has a big learning curve and most surgeons have a higher complication rate early on. It usually take surgeons 50-100 procedures to become proficient at performing anterior hip replacement. A smaller number usually leads to an increase in complication rates. You want your surgeon to have performed a large number of anterior hip replacements, but clearly at least 100 would be preferred. Experience does matter.

2. Do you perform it exclusively?

You also want to know if the surgeon performs anterior hip replacement exclusively, meaning they do anterior hip replacement on most all patients. Surgeons who don’t exclusively perform the direct anterior approach on all patients means they are not completely comfortable with the approach and as a result only offer it to people they know will be easier to perform it on. I perform anterior approach on all patients regardless of how easy or hard they will be to perform the surgery on because I believe it is such a better way to do the surgery and that all patients deserve the benefit of it.

3. What is your complication rate for hip replacement?

You want to ask about the surgeon’s complication rate. Once comfortable with the surgery, complication rates should be fairly low for most surgeons. Complications happen regardless of the approach. Everybody doctor has them, but, definitely, some doctors have less than others.

4. What is the typical recovery?

Recovery time and hospital length of stay are very important for patients. Most people can go home the next day after anterior hip replacement. Some surgeries can even be done outpatient. If they have hospital stays longer than 1-2 days then I would be concerned.

5. Does the hospital have a hip replacement program?

Also ask your surgeon about their hospital and its joint replacement program. It’s good to have a surgeon who has a hospital with a well developed joint program to back them up.

Anterior hip replacement is a truly minimally invasive hip replacement surgery. It makes a huge difference in the recovery and allows patients to get back to their active lifestyle quicker. But not all surgeons performing it have the same training and experience. Do your research and pick a surgeon who has the experience to give you a good outcome. Experience matters when it comes to anterior hip replacement surgery.

Dr. James Loging is a is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and the first physician to perform anterior hip replacement surgery in South Carolina. To learn more about Dr. Loging or anterior hip replacement, visit The content of this page should not be used as a substitute for medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment. 

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