Joint, Ligament and Muscle Disorders

Our Specialties

Anterior or Posterior Hip Replacement


The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The socket is formed by the acetabulum, which is part of the large pelvis bone. The ball is formed by the femoral head, which is the upper end of the thighbone, or femur. The surfaces of both the ball and socket are covered with articular cartilage, a smooth tissue that cushions the ends of the bones and enables them to move with ease. The hip joint is surrounded with synovial membrane, a thin tissue that produces a small amount of fluid to lubricate the cartilage and eliminate nearly all friction during hip movement. The ball and socket are connected by bands of tissue called ligaments (the hip capsule) that provide stability to the joint.

Anterior or Posterior Approach

Both the anterior and posterior approaches provide excellent relief of arthritic hip pain and stiffness, as well as providing durable service for up to 15-20 years.

At Shoreline Orthopaedics, we know that one approach is not right for everyone. We are equally skilled and experienced in both anterior and posterior approaches to total hip replacement. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach, and every patient's situation is unique. The decision of which is best for you should be made with your orthopaedic surgeon, after thorough evaluation. Both approaches carry the risk of infection, intraoperative fracture, bleeding, and nerve damage.

  • Anterior Hip Replacement—This approach allows your orthopaedic surgeon to reach the hip joint through the front of the hip, preserving muscles and tendons, and reducing incidence of postoperative hip dislocation, usually with no need of specific precautions. Anterior hip replacement allows for less post-surgical pain and faster post-operative rehab and recovery, along with a reduced risk of post-operative hip dislocation. The anterior approach is often accompanied by higher blood loss and a slightly higher risk of the need for transfusion.
  • Posterior Hip Replacement—This approach has been in use for decades and is more widely used in hip surgery at this time. Posterior hip replacement presents a somewhat greater risk of posterior hip dislocation. Most patients are candidates for this approach.

Listen to a discussion on NPR to learn more.