BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2018 19:241

A prospective randomized comparison of the minimally invasive direct anterior and the transgluteal approach for primary total hip arthroplasty

Johannes C. Reichert, Eberhard von Rottkay, Franz Roth, Tim Renz, Johannes Hausmann, Julius Kranz, Lars Rackwitz, Ulrich Nöth and Maximilian Rudert


The presented prospective randomized controlled single-centre study compares the clinical outcome up to 12 months after total hip arthroplasty using a minimally invasive single-incision direct anterior (DAA) and a direct transgluteal lateral approach.


A total of 123 arthroplasties were evaluated utilizing the Harris Hip Score (HHS), the extra short musculoskeletal functional assessment questionnaire (XSFMA), the Short Form 36 (SF-36) health survey, a Stepwatch™ Activity Monitor (SAM), and a timed 25 m foot walk (T25-FW). Postoperative x-ray images after THA were reviewed to determine inclination and stem positioning.


At final follow-up, the XSFMA functional index scores were 10.3 (anterior) and 15.08 (lateral) while the bother index summed up to a score of 15.8 (anterior) and 21.66 (lateral) respectively, thus only differing significantly for the functional index (p = 0.040 and p = 0.056). The SF-36 physical component score (PCS) was 47.49 (anterior) and 42.91 (lateral) while the mental component score (MCS) summed up to 55.0 (anterior) and 56.23 (lateral) with a significant difference evident for the PCS (p = 0.017; p = 0.714). Patients undergoing THA through a DAA undertook a mean of 6402 cycles per day while those who had undergone THA through a transgluteal approach undertook a mean of 5340 cycles per day (p = 0.012). Furthermore, the obtained outcome for the T25-FW with 18.4 s (anterior) and 19.75 s (lateral) and the maximum walking distance (5932 m and 5125 m) differed significantly (p = 0.046 and p = 0.045). The average HHS showed no significant difference equaling 92.4 points in the anterior group and 91.43 in the lateral group (p = 0.477). The radiographic analysis revealed an average cup inclination of 38.6° (anterior) and 40.28° (lateral) without signs of migration.


In summary, our outcomes show that after 1 year THA through the direct anterior approach results in a higher patient activity compared to THA utilizing a transgluteal lateral approach while no differences regarding hip function are evident.

Trial registration

DRKS00014808 (German Clinical Trial Register DRKS); date of registration: 31.05.2018.

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