Primary total hip arthroplasty via the direct anterior approach in the lateral decubitus position: Surgical technique, learning curve, complications, and early results

C. M. Lawrie, D. Bechtold, M. Schwabe, J. C. Clohisy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aims The direct anterior approach (DAA) for total hip arthroplasty (THA) has potential advantages over other approaches and is most commonly performed with the patient in the supine position. We describe a technique for DAA THA with the patient in the lateral decubitus position and report the early clinical and radiological outcomes, the characteristics of the learning curve, and perioperative complications. Methods All primary DAA THAs performed in the lateral position by a single surgeon over a four-year period from the surgeon’s first case using the technique were identified from a prospectively collected database. Modified Harris Hip Scores (mHHS) were collected to assess clinical outcome, and routine radiological analysis was performed. Retrospective review of the medical records identified perioperative complications, the characteristics of the learning curve, and revisions. Results A total of 257 patients were included in the study. Their mean age was 60 years (SD 9.0). A total of 164 (64%) were female. The mean mHHS improved significantly from 52.1 (SD 16.2) preoperatively to 94.4 (SD 11) at a follow-up of one year (p < 0.001), with 212 of 225 patients (94%) achieving a minimal clinically important difference (MCID) (> 8 points). Radiological evaluation showed a mean leg length discrepancy of 2.6 mm (SD 5.9) and a mean difference in femoral offset of 0.2 mm (SD 4.9). A total of 234/243 acetabular components (96.3%) were positioned within Lewinnek’s safe zone. Analysis of operating time, blood loss, the position of the components, and complications did not identify a learning curve. A total of 14 patients (5.4%) had a major perioperative complication and three (1.2%) required revision THA. There were no major neurovascular complications and no dislocations. Conclusion We have described and analyzed a surgical technique for undertaking DAA THA in the familiar lateral decubitus position using a routine operating table, positioning devices, and instrumentation, and shown that it can be performed safely and effectively under these circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalBone and Joint Journal
Volume103-B
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

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