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Published on December 15, 2011

DCMH and Eugene Elia, M.D., Now Offering Anterior Hip Replacement

Eugene Elia, M.D.DREXEL HILL, Pa. – At Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Eugene Elia, M.D. has been performing one of the least-invasive surgical options available in hip replacement surgery.

Anterior hip replacement surgery is an advanced approach to hip replacement that offers patients more advantages than conventional hip replacement surgery. The anterior approach allows surgeons to reach the hip joint from the front, as opposed to the side or back. This approach allows the surgeon to replace the hip without detaching the muscles from the femur or pelvis, therefore allowing a faster recovery with less muscle trauma.

“I learned this hip replacement approach from Joel Matta, M.D., a leading orthopedic surgeon who pioneered the operation,” Elia says. “Dr. Matta is an orthopedic surgeon in California who has been performing this procedure since 1997 and who is responsible for bringing anterior hip replacement to the United States. This new form of replacement offers me an additional option to give my patients when they have end-stage arthritis of the hip or require surgery. This hip replacement approach offers patients the potential ability to heal quicker and to have no restrictions after surgery, within reason.”

The anterior approach to hip replacement surgery is different than the traditional surgery in that no muscles or tendons are cut. This allows patients to progress much quicker than the traditional approach, where muscles are cut and require six weeks to heal. Anterior hip replacement allows surgeons to simply work through the natural intervals between the surrounding leg muscles, thus making it easier on both the surgeon and the patient.

This type of hip replacement surgery offers patients a more rapid return to normal activities, including work. The anterior approach allows patients to return to work in 4-6 weeks versus 10-12 weeks for traditional surgery. “I started doing this procedure because I wanted to offer my patients an alternative to traditional hip replacement surgery. I felt that this procedure would be ideal in my working population who had a need to return to work quicker,” Elia says. “There are no negatives to this surgery over the traditional approach. It is ideal for someone who desires an accelerated route of recovery.”

The traditional style of hip replacement requires strict precautions during recovery, such as limited hip motion and flexing. These limitations keep patients from performing the simplest of daily motions. The anterior approach allows patients the ability to freely bend their hip and bear full weight, resulting in a faster recovery.

As a newer surgical option, anterior hip replacement has special requirements for surgery. “DCMH was very helpful getting me started with this procedure,” Elia says. “In order to perform this operation properly, you need a specialized OR table which the health system purchased. Without this state-of-the-art operating table, I wouldn’t be able to perform this surgery properly. There are other surgeons nearby performing the anterior approach free-form, without the table, on a limited basis.”

Elia is the only hip surgeon in Crozer-Keystone Health System as well as Delaware County to perform this procedure using the specialized operating room table. “This procedure certainly will be part of the future of hip replacement, although the traditional method will continue to have a strong place in hip surgery with the majority of surgeons in the community,” Elia says.

To learn more about joint replacement, choose orthopedics from the services tab at For more information about the Premier/Crozer-Keystone Orthopedics Partnership, visit


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