Healthy You - Every Day

An Easier Approach to Hip Replacement

Anterior approach helped Arlene Hottenstein return to work and life faster


Throughout her husband’s cancer battle, Arlene Hottenstein tried ignoring the excruciating pain in her right leg. 

“It hurt so bad I couldn’t bend to tie my shoes and had to give up walking my dog,” she says. “But I couldn’t get it checked because I needed to work and care for my husband.”

Shortly after he passed away in August 2018, Hottenstein, then 64, visited an urgent care clinic near her Bethlehem home. An X-ray showed severe arthritis in her right hip.

She immediately made an appointment with orthopedic surgeon Jonathon Brown, DO, with LVPG Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. “He took one look at my X-ray and announced I needed a new hip,” she says.

Muscle-sparing surgery

Hottenstein was concerned about missing work but knew she couldn’t continue standing all day in her job as a money counter for a vending company. To help shorten her work leave, Brown recommended anterior (from the front) hip replacement surgery, which causes less tissue trauma and boosts recovery time.

“With a traditional hip replacement, we typically make a long incision through the back or side of the body, cutting through muscles to approach the hip joint,” Brown says. “Because there are fewer muscles on the front side of the hip, the anterior approach lets us make a smaller incision and spread the muscles instead of cutting them. Precision imaging also allows for more accurate placement of the hip implant.”

Rehab and renewal

Hottenstein underwent surgery in November 2018, followed by inpatient rehabilitation and physical therapy. She was home within a week.

“Because there’s a smaller incision, less pain, and fewer movement restrictions, anterior hip replacement patients start rehab earlier and return to daily activities faster,” says physical therapist Kevin Trexler, with Rehabilitation Services–Cetronia Road.

Hottenstein continued rehab at home with a physical therapist and nurse and returned to work five weeks later. “Now I can bend to tie my shoes,” she says. “I do my own cooking and cleaning, and I’m taking walks again.”

Learn more about total joint replacement surgery at LVHN. Call 888-402-LVHN (5846)

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