Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement

Total hip replacement is a highly successful procedure in the majority of patients.

What is minimally invasive hip replacement?

Minimally invasive surgery involves performing total hip replacement through a smaller skin incision, with minimal soft tissue dissection and restoration of the soft tissue anatomy. The incision is typically 3-5 inches in length. The muscles are preserved to achieve the best possible hip function. Meticulous dissection of soft tissues and their repair are important steps in this surgery. Better understanding of anatomy, together with the evolution of surgical techniques and instruments, have enabled surgeons to safely perform hip replacement through the minimally invasive technique.

The procedure can be done through an incision at the back, side or front of the hip. Minimally invasive hip replacement is commonly performed through an incision on the back (posterior approach) or front (anterior approach) of the hip. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but there is no evidence so far that, overall, one is better than the other. The surgeon chooses the approach they feel best suited to achieve optimal results for their patient.

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Minimally invasive hip replacement scar

What are the advantages of minimally invasive hip replacement?

The main advantage is preserved muscle function, which helps patients to achieve excellent function after the hip replacement. Meticulous soft tissue dissection and stopping bleeding contribute to the reduction in blood loss, swelling and pain level. All these factors enable patients to start mobilising earlier, better and progress swiftly. Other important factors in achieving these goals and excellent long-term results after hip replacement are selection of the appropriate prosthesis, good fixation, placement of the prosthesis in correct angles and restoring the anatomy of the patient’s hip in terms of leg length and soft tissue tension.

Minimally invasive hip replacement is one crucial part of the enhanced recovery programme. Other aspects are patient preparation, good anaesthetic techniques, and post operative care and rehabilitation by the positive and encouraging multidisciplinary team. All these are crucial pillars of successful enhanced recovery and day case hip replacement programmes.

Are there any disadvantages of having minimally invasive hip replacement?

There are no specific disadvantages to having minimally invasive hip replacements as long as the surgeon has the necessary skill and experience in this type of surgery.

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Total hip replacement through minimally invasive approach