Evaluation of the Function and Quality of Life after Total Hip Arthroplasty by Different Approaches

Paulo Araújo, Luís Machado, Duarte Cadavez, Lisete Mónaco, Filipa Januário, Lisete Luís, Mafalda Bártolo


Introduction: To assess the function and quality of life in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty distinguishing two surgical approaches (posterior / anterolateral) used by the Orthopedics department of Centro Hospitalar de Leiria.
Material and Methods: Retrospective study of 94 patients subject to unilateral hip replacement surgery, using the ‘Hip Osteoarthritis Outcome Score’ (HOOS LK 2.0) questionnaire, the Trendelenburg test and evaluation of muscle strength of the hip abductor muscles with dynamometer. Patients were evaluated at six months, 12 months, 18 months and 24 months after surgery.
Results: The study revealed that 97.9% patients completed the rehabilitation program. The postoperative evolution (six to 24 months) does not appear to have any differences in results when comparing both approaches. At six months the patient operated by the anterolateral approach showed worse results when compared with the posterior approach, in particular in Hip Osteoarthritis Outcome Score pain, in Hip Osteoarthritis Outcome Score symptoms and Hip Osteoarthritis Outcome Score activities of daily living. After 24 months, no differences between the two surgical approaches were found. Of the 94 patients evaluated, the Trendelenburg test was positive in 31% of patients of which 81.9% corresponds to patients operated by the anterolateral approach. Muscle strength of the abductors of the operated hip was clearly lower in the anterolateral approach at six months, 12 months, and 24 months.
Discussion: This study showed that, in the first six months after total hip arthroplasty, the patients operated by the posterior approach were, according to the HOOS questionnaire, less symptomatic, and presented with better quality of life and less impact on activities of daily living and in sport and leisure when compared with the patients operated by the anterolateral approach. However, these differences were matched over the 24 months. Moreover, the results of muscle strength of the abductor muscles of the hip were clearly superior in patients operated by the posterior approach at six months, at 12 months and at 24 months compared to the patients operated by the anterolateral approach.
Conclusion: After 24 months post total hip arthroplasty there are no differences between the two approaches with regard to function or quality of life. However, the patients operated by the anterolateral approach had greater muscle strength deficits and higher percentage of positive Trendelenburg test.


Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip; Quality of Life; Range of Motion, Articular; Recovery of Function; Treatment Outcome

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