Resurgent hip replacement procedure a big boost for patients

April 26, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654


Dr. Kenneth Hermens of Hillsboro Orthopaedic Specialists is using an advanced form of total hip replacement that avoids cutting any muscles or tendons, helps patients recover quicker and have far fewer post-operation problems.

Hermens performs the procedure, called the direct anterior approach, at Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro. The direct anterior approach or technique, which is undergoing resurgence because of newer instruments and more effective implants, approaches the hip from the front, rather than the side or back used in more traditional hip replacement surgeries. The direct anterior approach requires an incision that is half as long as the incision used with the more traditional technique. That technique requires an 8-12 inch incision. Using the direct approach, the surgeon does not need to detach any of the muscles or tendons. And it results in less post-operation pain, lower risk of dislocation risk and better control of leg lengths.

Hermens said that he and therapists he works with have been impressed with the outcome of the direct anterior approach over more traditional methods. “Patients lose their limp and discard their cane quicker and appreciate no needed precautions post-op,” said Hermens, an orthopedic surgeon with an engineering background who recently received extensive training in the direct anterior approach.

Two drawbacks to the procedure, according to Hermens, is finding a qualified surgeon who has expertise in the procedure and dispelling the notion that a surgeon needs an expensive, specialized surgical table to perform the procedure.

Other potential benefits, according to Hermens include:

  • Decreased hospital stay and quicker rehabilitation.
  • Shorter recovery time and less scarring.
  • Potential for less blood loss and less time in surgery.
  • Lower risk of dislocation.
  • A more natural return to normal function and activity.

Hermens cautions that the procedure is considered major surgery and is not for everyone, including patients needing hip revision, or with certain anatomic anomalies. Along with other orthopedic surgeons, Hermens feels there are benefits to performing the procedure on a standard operating table, versus the highly specialized and expensive table.