I am considering a direct anterior approach for my hip replacement. I have heard that it is important to have an experienced surgeon for this procedure. Why is this the case and how much experience should I look for in my surgeon?

In a report out recently by Post et al., the direct anterior approach for total hip replacement has been described and reported on. These authors describe a technique which has the advantage of decreased muscle injury and the possibility of faster and less painful recovery. One issue they discuss is the steep learning curve and the need for surgical expertise for the most optimal outcomes. This is due to the complicated anatomy and the challenge in determining the appropriate location for dissection. The positioning and use of the tools to perform the replacement is also improved with experience. This report describes improvements in outcomes with experienced surgeons and reports that studies have found that complications decrease when the surgeon experience is greater than one hundred cases.