The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 2, 453 - 457

Is the Direct Superior, Iliotibial Band-Sparing Approach Associated With Decreased Pain After Total Hip Arthroplasty?

Nam, Denis et al.


Recently, the direct superior approach (DSA) has been introduced in total hip arthroplasty (THA) with the goal of limiting soft tissue dissection. This study’s purpose was to use a visual pain diagram questionnaire to determine the location and severity of pain in patients undergoing THA via a DSA vs miniposterior approach (MPA).


This was a prospective, Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved investigation from 3 centers. Patients aged 18-70 years with a diagnosis of osteoarthritis were included. Two centers used the MPA, while 1 center the DSA. The DSA uses a 9- to 12-cm incision with its distal extent at the posterosuperior greater trochanter. Dissection into the iliotibial band is avoided, and the capsule at the inferior femoral neck is preserved. All THAs in both cohorts received a cementless, titanium, proximally coated femoral stem and a hemispherical acetabular component.


A total of 42 DSA and 196 MPA THA patients were included. Overall, 43% of patients reported pain in at least 1 of the 8 anatomic areas assessed. There was no difference in the incidence of moderate to severe pain in any anatomic area of interest between the MPA and DSA cohorts (P = .1-.9). Specifically, the incidence of moderate to severe trochanter (17% MPA vs 17% DSA, P = .9), anterior thigh (15% MPA vs 17% DSA, P = .9), and lateral thigh pain (12% MPA vs 12% DSA, P = .9) was nearly identical in both cohorts.


This study was unable to demonstrate a difference in the incidence of residual pain after use of a DSA or an MPA approach after THA.

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