The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 2, 465 - 470

Assessment of Early Gait Recovery After Anterior Approach Compared to Posterior Approach Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Smartphone Accelerometer–Based Study

Nelms, Nathaniel J. et al.


The influence of total hip arthroplasty surgical approach on postoperative recovery is not well understood and often debated. This study compares anterior and posterior approach (PA) gait and patient-reported Hip Osteoarthritis Outcome scores (HOOS) in the early phases of recovery.


A prospective study evaluated 20 control subjects, 35 direct anterior approach (DAA), and 34 PA total hip arthroplasty patients. Subjects were assessed preoperatively and at 1 and 4 months postoperatively with HOOS and smartphone gait assessments of gait speed, step length, cadence, step symmetry, and horizontal and vertical center of mass displacements.


The DAA and PA groups were not different in baseline HOOS or gait characteristics except for less horizontal center of mass displacement in the DAA group. At 1 month postoperatively, the DAA group had significantly faster gait speed at self-selected ( P = .02) and fastest possible gait ( P = .01) and longer step length at self-selected ( P = .047) and fastest gait ( P = .003) compared to the PA. At 4 months, there were no differences in DAA and PA gait measures. At 1 month postoperatively there were no significant differences in HOOS, but after 4 months HOOS were significantly higher in the DAA group.


There were minimal differences between the two approaches in the recovery of gait mechanics with some gait parameters particularly gait speed and step length recovery favoring the DAA at 1 month postsurgery in this nonrandomized study.

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