header advert
Orthopaedic Proceedings Logo

Receive monthly Table of Contents alerts from Orthopaedic Proceedings

Comprehensive article alerts can be set up and managed through your account settings

View my account settings

Visit Orthopaedic Proceedings at:



Full Access

General Orthopaedics


Current Concepts in Joint Replacement (CCJR) – Spring 2015


We perform the direct approach using a standard radiolucent operative table with extender at the foot, and the assistance of fluoroscopy. The patient is positioned supine with the pubic symphysis aligned at the table break. The anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) and center of the knee are marked, and a line drawn between. The incision commences proximally from two finger breadths distal and two finger breadths lateral to the ASIS, and extends distally 8–10 cm. Using fluoroscopy, the anterior aspect femoral neck is located. The incision is placed over the lateral aspect of the greater trochanter, which avoids the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. The tensor fascia lata is identified, which has a distinctive purple hue, and dissected free from the intermuscular septum lateral to the sartorius and the rectus muscles. The deep, investing aponeurosis of the tensor fascia lata is split using a tonsil. Just below lie the lateral circumflex vessels, two veins and one artery, which must be either ligated or cauterised. A retractor is placed superior to the femoral neck over top of the superior hip capsule. A blunt, cobra-type retractor is then placed along the inferior femoral neck, deep to the rectus muscle and the rectus tendon. A sharp retractor is then used to peel the rectus off from the anterior capsule and placed over the anterior rim of the acetabulum. An anterior capsulectomy is performed. A saw blade is positioned for femoral neck resection and confirmed with fluoroscopy. After resection, acetabular retractors are placed, the socket is reamed, the cup is placed, and position confirmed with fluoroscopy. Turning to the femoral side, the surgeon palpates underneath and around the tensor, around the lateral aspect of the femur, proximal to the gluteus maximus tendon, and places a bone hook around the proximal femur. Femoral preparation and stem insertion require maneuvering the table and adjusting the patient position. The table is “jack-knifed” by lowering the foot of the table to approximately 45 degrees and placing the bed into approximately 15 degrees of Trendelenburg. The contralateral well leg is placed on the padded Mayo stand. A table-mounted femur elevator is attached to the bed, requiring a change in surgical gloves, and attached to the traction hook around the proximal femur. Gentle retraction is placed on the femur to tension the capsule. As the capsule is released the femur will begin to come up/out of the wound and into view. With increasing gentle retraction via the table-mounted hook, the femur is elevated. Simultaneously, the operative limb is externally rotated and adducted underneath the non-operative leg in a lazy “figure of 4” position by the assistant. The use of a “broach-only” stem design is preferred as direct straight reaming of the femur is difficult in most cases. Fluoroscopic images are obtained to confirm femoral implant positioning, offset, neck and leg length. A standardised rapid recovery hospitalization and rehabilitation protocol is used in all cases.