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The Anterior Approach is not new. It was described in the 1800's by a German Surgeon!
In the last 5 or 10 years, there has been a push towards Anterior Approach Total Hip Replacement. It is my feeling that this was done primarily for marketing purposes.
When the first total hips were implanted, Sir John Charnley realized that to minimize wear of the plastic liner in a total hip, the ideal head diameter would be 28 mm. This is quite small. The smaller the head, the more likely dislocation becomes following surgery. As materials in total hip replacement have improved, the plastic we use now is the same
There is also little difference in rehabilitation or postoperative pain if one approach is chosen over the other.
This author has extensive experience with the posterolateral approach. This does not damage the hip abductors and is minimally traumatic to surrounding soft tissues. Although I have used the anterior approach on many occasions, I feel there is little or no advantage to an anterior approach.