Tips on the Direct Anterior Approach from Dr. Joel Matta

    As performed today, the direct anterior approach is an evolution of the technique developed by Judet in 1947. Dr. Joel Matta shares his insights on the current state of this rapidly growing approach to total hip arthroplasty.

    Joel Matta, MD, is one of the innovators and early advocates of total hip arthroplasty through the direct anterior approach in the United States. He first saw the procedure performed in France in 1981 and adopted it into his practice in 1996. Since then, he has performed thousands of primary hip replacement procedures through this approach.

    The direct anterior approach for total hip arthroplasty, first used in 1947 by Robert Judet in Garches, France, has only begun to gain widespread use by U.S. orthopaedic surgeons in the last decade, thanks in large part to the efforts of Dr. Matta. The direct anterior approach performed today is an evolution of the technique developed by Judet, and it accounts for approximately 20% of all total hip arthroplasties performed in the US.

    Dr. Matta, who is Director of the Hip & Pelvis Institute at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, was recently a featured speaker at the International Congress for Joint Reconstruction’s Anterior Hip Course. We were honored to speak with him at the meeting about a range of issues surrounding the direct anterior approach.

    During the conversation, he addressed:

    • Why he prefers the direct anterior approach
    • Tools, technologies, and resources available to help surgeons who want to adopt this approach
    • The learning curve for the direct anterior approach
    • Risks and benefits of the direct anterior approach
    • Using a special orthopaedic table with this approach
    • The use of the direct anterior approach for revision procedures

    Click the images below to hear Dr. Matta’s comments.

    Preference for direct anterior approach

    Adopting the direct anterior approach

    Tools, technologies, and resources

    Learning curve

    Risks and benefits

    Use of a special orthopaedic table

    Revision procedures