Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement

What is it?

Minimally invasive hip replacement surgery allows the surgeon to perform the hip replacement through a smaller incision than the traditional one.

Who are candidates for this technique?
Candidates for minimal incision procedures are typically thinner, younger, healthier, and more motivated to have a quick recovery compared with patients who undergo the traditional surgery. Usually, their lesions are not too much deteriorated.

Are the implants better?
No, they are just the same as in traditional technique.

I decided to proceed with this technique for my hip. Is this the best choice for me?
Before you decide to have a minimally invasive hip replacement, get a thorough evaluation from your surgeon. Discuss with him the complications and benefits. Both traditional and minimally invasive hip replacement procedures are technically demanding. They require that the surgeon and operating team have considerable experience. Each patient has an individual therapy. This is a rule in surgery.

Technique
Specially designed instruments are needed to prepare the socket and femur and to place the implants properly.
The surgical procedure is similar, but there is less soft-tissue dissection. A single minimally invasive hip incision may measure only 3 to 6 inches. It depends on the size of the patient and the difficulty of the procedure.

The incision is usually placed over the outside of the hip. The muscles and tendons are split or detached, but to a lesser extent than in the traditional hip replacement operation. They are routinely repaired after the surgeon places the implants. This encourages healing and helps prevent dislocation of the hip.
Two-incision hip replacement involves making a 2- to 3-inch incision over the groin for placement of the socket. A 1- to 2-inch incision is made over the buttock for placement of the stem.

To perform the two-incision procedure, the surgeon may need guidance from X-rays. It may take longer to perform this surgery than it does to perform traditional hip replacement surgery.

Benefits
Reported benefits of less invasive hip replacement include:Less pain-More cosmetic incisions-Less muscle damage-Rehabilitation is faster-Hospital stays are shorter. For traditional hip replacement, hospital stays average 4 to 5 days. Many patients need extensive rehabilitation afterward. With less-invasive procedures, the hospital stay may be as short as 1 or 2 days. Some patients can go home the day of surgery.Early studies suggest that minimally invasive hip replacement surgery streamlines the recovery process, but the risks and long-term benefits of less-invasive techniques have not yet been documented.

The future
Extensive study and development are now underway to determine the long-term benefits of minimally invasive hip replacement. New technology for imaging and computer-assisted implant placement has been developed.

Surgical technique continues to be modified as experience with minimally invasive hip surgery grows. This will allow more precise reconstruction of the hip with less direct visualization. In addition, new implant designs and materials are being developed to facilitate hip surgery and prolong the lifespan of replacements.

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