The influence of surgical approach on outcomes of total hip arthroplasty

Tadross, TSF, Lunn, DE, Redmond, AC and Chapman, Graham orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3983-6641 (2016) The influence of surgical approach on outcomes of total hip arthroplasty. Orthopaedics and Trauma, 30 (3). pp. 247-253. ISSN 1877-1327

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The vast majority of total hip arthroplasties performed in the UK are undertaken using either a posterior or direct lateral approach. This review describes the functional outcomes of these approaches. Functional outcome can be assessed through motion capture of function, strength testing of muscle groups around the hip and imaging of anatomical structures. Regardless of surgical approach, total hip arthroplasty patients rarely return to the ‘normal’ gait exhibited by healthy age-matched controls. The direct lateral approach is associated with abductor deficiencies whilst the posterior approach may introduce extension and rotation deficits. How long functional differences persist between surgical approaches is unclear. The emergence of improved imaging technologies as well as isokinetic dynamometry (muscle strength testing) and 3D biomechanical modelling provide more comprehensive evaluations than traditional post-operative assessments such as radiology or couch examination. Targeted physiotherapy has been suggested as a possible intervention to counter lasting functional deficits. This review provides a foundation to inform surgeons of the impact of each approach to justify their surgical practice and may inform physical rehabilitation regimens post-surgery.

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