Published online Jan 18, 2013. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v4.i1.12
Revised: November 28, 2012
Accepted: December 23, 2012
Published online: January 18, 2013
The purpose of this review is to examine the validity of positive claims regarding the direct anterior approach (DAA) with a fracture table for total hip arthroplasty. Recent literature regarding the DAA was searched and specific claims investigated including improved early outcomes, speed of recovery, component placement, dislocation rates, and complication rates. Recent literature is positive regarding the effects of total hip arthroplasty with the anterior approach. While the data is not definitive at present, patients receiving the anterior approach for total hip arthroplasty tend to recover more quickly and have improved early outcomes. Component placement with the anterior approach is more often in the “safe zone” than with other approaches. Dislocation rates tend to be less than 1% with the anterior approach. Complication rates vary widely in the published literature. A possible explanation is that the variance is due to surgeon and institutional experience with the anterior approach procedure. Concerns remain regarding the “learning curve” for both surgeons and institutions. In conclusion, it is not a matter of should this approach be used, but how should it be implemented.