Minimally Invasive (MIS) Total Hip Replacement
Total hip replacement has been refined over the last decade. Hip replacement can be done more safely, with shorter hospitalizations, with less discomfort and fewer complications--as long as careful attention to detail is combined with state-of-the-art techniques. One of the more recent refinements of total hip replacement involves in use of minimally invasive surgical techniques.
The surgical approach must allow adequate visualization of important boney landmarks and critical structures such as nerves and vessels. Component position is affects stability, long-term performance, and leg lengths. In many centers, a 10 - 14 inch incision is used routinely.
Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement
However, not all patients need the standard incision. Recent enhancements in surgical technique have allowed more limited surgical approaches in certain patients. Down-sized instruments, selected implants, and minor modifications of the surgical dissection allow hip replacement to be done through a smaller incision, with much less surgical dissection, and with less trauma to the muscles around the hip.
The potential but unproven benefits of this less invasive technique are significant:Better cosmetics
Less postoperative pain
Less blood loss
Fewer wound complications
It is important, however, to understand that small incisions for hip replacement are a recent development. Precise placement of hip components remains the primary goal of the surgery, and this goal should not be compromised for a smaller incision. Patient factors such as weight, stiff hips, previous hip surgery, and hip deformity can require the standard sized incision.