The lateral approach is used for insertion of a sliding hip screw or multiple screws after closed reduction of a proximal femoral fracture. The incision can be extended proximally to accommodate a trochanteric stabilizing plate.
IM nails for trochanteric fractures enter through the top of the greater trochanter. However, the precise entry point in the greater trochanter depends on the design of the nail.
The posterolateral approach can be used for hip arthroplasty.
The anterolateral approach (Watson-Jones) provides somewhat limited access to the hip joint along with the lateral proximal femur and can be used for open reduction of displaced femoral neck fractures, and some femoral head fractures.
The anterior approach (iliofemoral or Smith-Peterson) provides the most direct access to the anterior aspect of the hip.
The direct lateral approach, usually done with the patient in lateral decubitus position, is excellent for hemiarthroplasty or uncomplicated primary total hip arthroplasty, and can be also be used for some femoral head fractures.