The field of orthopedics is constantly researching new techniques to help make joint replacement surgery less painful and to help patients recover more quickly. One of the most talked about orthopedic advancements is the ASI (Anterior Supine Intermuscular) hip replacement technique.
Minimally invasive hip replacement involves more than just a shorter incision. Modern minimally invasive techniques also focus on the way surgeons gain access to the hip joint. The goal is to minimize muscle and tendon disruption, making surgery less traumatic for patients, allowing for shorter hospital stays and quicker recoveries.
Unlike traditional minimally invasive hip replacement techniques, the ASI technique uses an incision at the front of the hip instead of the side or back of the hip. This modified incision placement allows surgeons to directly approach the hip joint by going between the muscles that surround the hip joint. Traditional approaches would require cutting the muscles and/or tendons that surround the hip.
The ASI minimally invasive hip replacement procedure is designed to reduce the trauma to the tissues surrounding the hip joint. By preserving the muscles and tendons, surgeons may enable their patients to walk the day of surgery, to experience less postoperative pain, and to return to daily activities more quickly.
Hundreds of thousands of people undergo total hip replacement each year in the United States. Many patients are not candidates for other minimally invasive hip surgery techniques due to obesity or other considerations. The ASI technique has the advantage of potentially offering a minimally invasive option for the patients who would not otherwise be considered for other minimally invasive products.
It is important to remember that ASI (Anterior Supine Intermuscular) hip replacement is a technique, not an implant. Your surgeon will select the implant that they feel will best treat your specific condition. Today’s implants offer exceptional outcomes, but traditional surgical techniques require a long and involved physical recovery. Surgeons understand that patients desire to heal quickly so they can return to a more active and enjoyable lifestyle.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement
- Shorter hospital stay
- Quicker mobilization
- Accelerated recovery process
- Reduced blood loss
- Less scar tissue
While uncommon, complications can occur during and after surgery. Some complications include infection, blood clots, implant breakage, malalignment, dislocation, and premature wear. Although implant surgery is extremely successful in most cases, some patients still experience stiffness and pain. No implant will last forever, and factors such as the patient’s activities after surgery and weight can affect longevity. Be sure to discuss these and other risks with your surgeon.
Preparing for Surgery
Patients should begin preoperative strengthening exercises to help them prepare for surgery and their recovery. Patients may be given a comprehensive nutrition plan to help ensure optimum health before surgery.
There are many things that your surgeon may do to minimize the potential for complications. Your surgeon may have you see a medical physician before surgery to obtain tests. You may also need to have your dental work up to date and may be shown how to prepare your home to avoid falls.
After surgery, you probably will be hospitalized for 2 to 3 days. During this time, you will receive pain medication and begin physical therapy for your hip. It is important to start moving your new hip as soon as possible after surgery to promote blood flow, to regain hip motion, and to facilitate the recovery process. You should be out of bed and walking with crutches or a walker within 24 hours of your surgery.
Before you leave the hospital, your therapist will show you a variety of exercises designed to help you regain mobility and strength in your hip. You should be able to perform these exercises on your own at home. You will be shown how to safely climb and descend stairs, how to get into and out of a seated position, and how to care for your hip once you return home.
At home, it is important to continue with your exercises as your physician has instructed. It is a good idea to enlist the help of friends or family to help you once you do return home.
Recovery after ASI hip replacement can be substantially reduced as compared to recovery from traditional total hip replacement.
Every person’s recovery time will vary, but most people should be able to drive after 2 weeks, garden after 3 to 4 weeks, and golf about 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. Your surgeon will tell you when you can return to these activities and will also tell you which activities to avoid.
You will typically not be allowed to participate in high-impact activities or contact sports. These types of activities place extreme pressure on the hip joint, which could lead to complications.