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Total hip replacement is a surgical procedure that has an extremely high success rate, restoring the patient’s quality of life after living with debilitating hip pain. Professor Ali Ghoz is a Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon who champions a new form of hip replacement – direct anterior approach hip replacement – for its shorter rehabilitation, reduced post-operation pain and quicker recovery for the patient.

Total hip replacement surgery can be performed from several different positions on the hip, whereby the surgeon can choose to make an incision in the anterior, lateral, antero-lateral or posterior position. The direct anterior approach was established by Dr. Marion Smith-Petersen in 1939, and it is understood to be relatively bloodless and muscle-sparing, as well as giving the surgeon clear visualisation of the hip socket.

The minimally-invasive procedure does not cut the primary muscles in the hip area, but instead pulls them to the side to allow the surgeon access. This means the muscle strength is mostly retained after the operation, which reduces the incidence of post-operative dislocation of the hip and facilitates a speedier recovery.

The patient benefits from a reduced risk of blood loss and dislocation as well as reduced scar tissue, and their recovery is generally quicker and less painful than with other approaches. Some patients who undergo direct anterior approach hip surgery may only need to stay in hospital for 24 hours after the procedure, and the incision tends to be around 5-6 inches long (compared with 10-12 inches), meaning patients are left with much smaller surgical scars

No matter the surgical approach, the most important element of a successful hip replacement is the surgeon. Data from The British and Australian Joint Replacement Registries has shown that surgeons with greater experience achieve far better outcomes for their patients, and as such, anyone who requires hip surgery should look for a surgeon with plenty of relevant experience.

Professor Ali Ghoz has specialised in minimally-invasive knee and hip surgery, with a specialist interest in complex cases, as well as an interest in computer-guided surgical procedures. Professor Ghoz trained at the Yorkshire School of Surgery, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and the Royal Berkshire Hospital, and holds a Master of Science degree specialising in Musculoskeletal Sciences from Oxford University. Professor Ghoz is currently practicing at The London Clinic, Chelsea Bridge Clinic and Spire Dunedin Hospital.