Rainy Lake Medical Center’s surgery department is ready to begin performing anterior hip replacement surgeries.

RLMC officials said offering anterior hip replacements has been a longtime goal of the organization, and they’re looking forward to adding the service that will prevent patients from having to travel out of town.

“This is excellent news for RLMC and the community,” said RLMC CEO Robb Pastor. “The anterior approach results in less pain and shorter hospital stays. In addition, patients no longer need to travel out of town for this procedure and can recover here at home.”

In anterior and lateral hip surgeries, the outcome is essentially the same — a new hip. The big difference in anterior versus lateral hip replacement is primarily where the incision is made and how long it is.

In a lateral hip replacement, the procedure is done on the side of the hip. During this traditional approach, the orthopedic surgeon makes a 10-12 inch incision while patients lie on their side. It does require the surgeon to cut through some muscle. With the anterior hip replacement approach, the procedure is done on the front of the hip. Surgeons complete the procedure through smaller incision, about 2-5 inches long, as patients lie on their backs. In addition, the muscle is moved aside as the procedure is completed. Thanks to the smaller incision and the ability to preserve muscle, the anterior approach allows patients a faster recovery.

With any hip replacement, recovery is the focus, so patients can get back to normal activities as quickly as possible. Because of the less-invasive techniques in anterior hip replacement, patients who undergo this surgery often have faster recovery rates.

A typical recovery with this new anterior approach is about two-four weeks, however, the time frame can vary dependent on a patients age and health. Most patients can expect to recover at home with less postoperative pain, however, if longer recovery is required RLMC’s Swing Bed Program is available.  

“We continue to focus on expanding services and upgrading technologies at RLMC to allow patients to stay close to home while receiving high-quality care,” Pastor said. “We have an extremely knowledgeable and talented surgical team who are committed to providing our patients and their families with the best possible care.”

While, Dr. Glen Rudolph of Orthopedic Associates performs the procedure, patients who are interested in learning more about RLMC’s anterior hip replacements start by scheduling a consultation with Rio Silvernail, orthopedic PA. Call Rainy Lake Clinic at 218-283-5503 to schedule a consultation. For more information on the RLMC Swing Bed Program, contact Angel Edens at 218-283-5459