New Treatment for Hip Arthritis 
Brian Krenzel, MD, orthopaedic surgeon at Frye Regional Medical Center 
Thursday, 15 September 2011 


Do you have hip pain? 

Is your quality of life limited by that pain? 

Is walking to your front door and experiencing the world outside becoming a monumental task? 

If the answer to any of these questions is yes…you may have hip arthritis.  There are a number of non-surgical, or conservative, treatment options for osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis. Typically, non-surgical options start with gentle exercise and physical therapy. As the arthritis becomes more painful and limiting, surgery (hip replacement) is generally recommended after conservative treatment options fail to provide relief.

Many options exist for hip replacement.  Minimally invasive total hip replacement techniques are becoming very popular.  One of the most talked about orthopedic advancements is the ASI (Anterior Supine Intermuscular) hip replacement technique.  Minimally invasive hip replacement involves more than just a shorter incision. Modern minimally invasive techniques also focus on the way surgeons gain access to the hip joint. The goal is to minimize muscle and tendon disruption, making surgery less traumatic for patients, allowing for shorter hospital stays and quicker recoveries. 

Total Hip Replacement

When non-operative treatment fails to control the discomfort and stiffness from arthritis of the hip, your surgeon may recommend total hip replacement. Joint replacement implants, typically made from metal alloy and polyethylene (plastic), are used to resurface the joint. Newer implants with metal or ceramic sockets are now being used in selective patients. Total hip replacement replaces the upper end of the femur (thighbone) and resurfaces the acetabulum (socket). The implants are designed to restore function and eliminate as much discomfort as possible while allowing you to return to a more active lifestyle.

Traditional total hip replacement surgeries may cause longer hospital stays, delayed physical therapy, increased risk for post-operative complications (ex: dislocation), and increased pain. With the ASI technique, rehabilitation and walking typically begin the day of surgery, and your hospital stay is normally 1to 3 days. Therapy will begin in the hospital and usually continues after discharge for approximately six to twelve weeks.


Anterior Supine Intermuscular (ASI) Hip Replacement


Unlike traditional minimally invasive hip replacement techniques, the ASI technique uses an incision at the front of the hip instead of the side or back of the hip. This modified incision placement allows surgeons to directly approach the hip joint by going between the muscles that surround the hip joint.  More traditional approaches require cutting the muscles and/or tendons that surround the hip. The ASI minimally invasive hip replacement procedure is designed to reduce injury to the tissues surrounding the hip joint during surgery.  Causing less trauma and preserving the muscles/ tendons may allow you to walk the day of surgery, experience less postoperative pain, and to return to daily activities more quickly.

Hundreds of thousands of people undergo total hip replacement each year in the United States. Many patients are not candidates for other minimally invasive hip surgery techniques due to obesity or other considerations. The ASI technique has the advantage of potentially offering a minimally invasive option for the patients who would not otherwise be considered for other minimally invasive techniques.

Potential Benefits of the ASI Technique are:

  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Earlier mobilization
  • Accelerated recovery process
  • Less blood loss
  • Decreased risk of dislocation

Hip replacement surgery has been extremely successful in helping patients with arthritis return to their normal activities and relieves their discomfort.  It is historically one of the most successful surgeries in all of medicine.

It is important to remember that ASI (Anterior Supine Intermuscular) hip replacement is a technique, not an implant. Your surgeon will select the implant that they feel will best treat your specific condition. Today’s implants can offer exceptional outcomes, but traditional surgical techniques can require a long and involved physical recovery. Surgeons understand that patients desire to heal quickly so they can return to a more active and enjoyable lifestyle.    

If you have hip pain, have been told by a physician that you have hip arthritis, or know you are in need of a hip replacement and would like more information on this exciting technique please call the Frye Physician Referral Line at 828-315-3391.

Get moving to the front door and look forward to what awaits!