Acta Orthopaedica, 85:5, 463-469, DOI: 10.3109/17453674.2014.934183

Worse patient-reported outcome after lateral approach than after anterior and posterolateral approach in primary hip arthroplasty

Einar Amlie, Leif I Havelin, Ove Furnes, Valborg Baste, Lars Nordsletten, Oystein Hovik & Sigbjorn Dimmen

Background — The surgical approach in total hip arthroplasty (THA) is often based on surgeon preference and local traditions. The anterior muscle-sparing approach has recently gained popularity in Europe. We tested the hypothesis that patient satisfaction, pain, function, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after THA is not related to the surgical approach.

Patients — 1,476 patients identified through the Norwegian Arthroplasty Register were sent questionnaires 1–3 years after undergoing THA in the period from January 2008 to June 2010. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) included the hip disability osteoarthritis outcome score (HOOS), the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index (WOMAC), health-related quality of life (EQ-5D-3L), visual analog scales (VAS) addressing pain and satisfaction, and questions about complications. 1,273 patients completed the questionnaires and were included in the analysis.

Results — Adjusted HOOS scores for pain, other symptoms, activities of daily living (ADL), sport/recreation, and quality of life were significantly worse (p < 0.001 to p = 0.03) for the lateral approach than for the anterior approach and the posterolateral approach (mean differences: 3.2–5.0). These results were related to more patient-reported limping with the lateral approach than with the anterior and posterolateral approaches (25% vs. 12% and 13%, respectively; p < 0.001).

Interpretation — Patients operated with the lateral approach reported worse outcomes 1–3 years after THA surgery. Self-reported limping occurred twice as often in patients who underwent THA with a lateral approach than in those who underwent THA with an anterior or posterolateral approach. There were no significant differences in patient-reported outcomes after THA between those who underwent THA with a posterolateral approach and those who underwent THA with an anterior approach.

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