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01.02.2015 | Symposium: 2014 Hip Society Proceedings | Ausgabe 2/2015

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research® 2/2015

Direct Anterior versus Miniposterior THA With the Same Advanced Perioperative Protocols: Surprising Early Clinical Results

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research® > Ausgabe 2/2015
MD Kirsten L. Poehling-Monaghan, MD Atul F. Kamath, MD Michael J. Taunton, MD Mark W. Pagnano
Wichtige Hinweise
The institution of the authors has received, during the study period, funding from DePuy Orthopaedics Inc (Warsaw, IN, USA), Stryker Orthopaedics (Mahwah, NJ, USA), Zimmer Inc (Warsaw, IN, USA), and Biomet Inc (Warsaw, IN, USA). One of the authors (MWP) certifies that he or she, or a member of his or her immediate family, has received or may receive payments or benefits, during the study period, an amount less than USD 10,000 from DePuy Orthopaedics Inc and an amount of less than USD 10,000 from Stryker Orthopaedics. One of the authors (MJT) certifies that he or she, or a member of his or her immediate family, has received or may receive payments or benefits, during the study period, an amount of less than USD 10,000 from MAKO Surgical Corp (Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA) and an amount of less than USD 10,000 from DJO, LLC (Vista, CA, USA).
All ICMJE Conflict of Interest Forms for authors and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research ® editors and board members are on file with the publication and can be viewed on request.
Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research ® neither advocates nor endorses the use of any treatment, drug, or device. Readers are encouraged to always seek additional information, including FDA approval status, of any drug or device before clinical use.
Each author certifies that his or her institution approved the human protocol for this investigation, that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research, and that informed consent for participation in the study was obtained.



Although some surgeons strongly advocate for one approach over the other, there are few data directly comparing the direct anterior approach with a miniposterior approach for total hip arthroplasty (THA).


Using the same advanced pain and rapid rehabilitation protocols for both groups, we compared the direct anterior and miniposterior approaches with respect to (1) return to activities of daily living at 2 days, 2 weeks, or 2 months; (2) risk of intraoperative or early postoperative complications; and (3) component position.


Over a 1-year period we identified all consecutive, primary direct anterior and miniposterior THAs performed by two surgeons at our institution, totaling 242 patients. Of those, 20 did not meet inclusion criteria as a result of prior trauma or surgery about the hip. A total of 222 patients, 126 direct anterior and 96 miniposterior, were retrospectively evaluated. All cases were done by one of two surgeons, one of whom performs THA exclusively through the direct anterior approach and the other who only uses the miniposterior approach. Groups did not differ demographically with mean ± SD age 64 ± 12 years, mean body mass index 30 ± 5.7 kg/m2, and 50% female. The same rapid rehabilitation protocols were used with no postoperative hip positioning precautions.


No differences were seen between the two groups in mean length of stay (2.2 days; range, 1–9 days), operative or in-hospital complications, intravenous breakthrough analgesia, stairs, maximum feet walked in-hospital, or percent discharged to home (80% [177 of 222]; all p > 0.2). The direct anterior patients had longer mean operative times (114 minutes; range, 60–251 minutes) than the miniposterior patients (mean, 60 minutes; range, 41–113 minutes; p < 0.001). The direct anterior group had a higher maximum visual analog scale pain score (5.3 direct anterior; ± 2, versus 3.8 MP; ± 2; p < 0.0001). At 2 weeks, more direct anterior patients required gait aids (92% [116 of 126]) than miniposterior (68% [62 of 96]; p < 0.0001). At 8 weeks, direct anterior patients had higher mean Harris hip scores (95 versus 89) but a lower return to work and driving with no difference in their use of gait aids, narcotics, activities of daily living, or walking 0.5 mile. More wound problems occurred in the miniposterior group (p < 0.01). With the numbers available, component alignment was not different between the study groups (p > 0.05 for all comparisons).


There was no systematic advantage of direct anterior THA versus miniposterior THA. Contrary to conventional belief and somewhat surprising were the fewer minor wound problems in the direct anterior group and the higher proportion of patients free of gait aids at 2 weeks and back to driving and working at 8 weeks in the miniposterior group. Factors other than surgical approach, perhaps including attentive pain management, patient selection, surgical volume and experience, careful preoperative templating, and rapid rehabilitation protocols, may be more important in terms of influencing early recovery after THA.

Level of Evidence

Level III, therapeutic study. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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