Total hip replacement surgery is also known as hip arthroplasty procedure. This is a common orthopedic surgical intervention which is ideal for all age groups. Replacing the hip joint with prostheses or artificial implants relieve pain & improve mobility such that patients are able to comfortably resume normal daily activities.
Traditional Approach Vs Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement Surgery
Traditional approach to total hip replacement surgery utilizes a single & long incision for viewing & accessing the hip joint. However, variation of this total hip replacement surgery approach is the minimally invasive hip replacement procedure which utilizes one or two shorter incisions which are required for joint replacement. Goal of utilizing shorter incisions is to reduce pain & speed up recovery. Unlike the traditional hip replacement, minimally invasive technique is not meant for all patients. However, orthopedists would normally discuss various surgical options with patients before developing the treatment plan. Damaged bone is cut & removed during total hip replacement surgery along with some soft tissues. However, in minimally invasive hip replacement procedure, smaller surgical incisions are made & fewer muscles around the hip are detached or cut through. Despite this basic difference, both minimally & traditional hip replacement surgeries are technically demanding & may result in having better outcomes when orthopedic surgeons have considerable experience.
Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement Surgery
Minimally invasive total hip replacement surgery procedure is quite similar to the traditional approach except for the fact that it requires less dissection of tissue surrounding the hip joint. Artificial implants which are used in the minimally invasive procedure are similar to those used for traditional hip replacement procedures. However, tools which are required in the minimally invasive hip replacement procedures are specially designed surgical instruments which are required to prepare the femur & socket so that they take the new implants properly. Minimally invasive hip replacement surgery can be either performed using one or two small incisions which allow for smaller tissue disturbances.
- Single-Incision Surgery – This type of minimally invasive hip replacement surgery involves a single incision which usually measures in between 3 – 6 inches. Length of this incision normally depends upon the size of the patient & the difficulties involved in surgical intervention. This single-incision is usually placed over the outside of hip. Muscles & tendons are then split or detached from hip, but to a much lesser extent than it is done in the traditional total hip replacement surgery. Moreover, these are routinely repaired when the orthopedic surgeon has placed the artificial implants. Minimally invasive hip replacement surgery generally encourages healing while helping prevent dislocation of the hip as well.
- Two-Incision Surgery – This type of minimally invasive hip replacement surgery involves orthopedic surgeons making the following two incisions.
- 2 – 3 inch incision over groin for placement of socket.
- 1 – 2 inch incision over buttocks for placing femoral stem.
Orthopedic surgeons may require guidance from x-rays for performing the two-incision procedure. This two-incision procedure may also take longer amount of time for operation than the traditional total hip replacement surgery.
Read More: Types of Hip Replacement Surgery
Hospital Stay Following Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement Surgery
Stay at the hospital following minimally invasive hip replacement surgery is similar to the length of stay following traditional hip replacement surgery & which usually ranges between 1 – 4 days of time. However, physical rehabilitation is the critical component of the recovery process. Orthopedic surgeons or physical therapists generally provide patients with specific set of exercises which are helpful in increasing range of motion & restore strength as well.
Ideal Candidates for Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement Surgery
Nevertheless, minimally invasive total hip replacement procedure is not quite suitable for all patients. Orthopedists will generally conduct a comprehensive evaluation test & consider many other factors before determining if this procedure can be an option in each case. Candidates who are good for minimally invasive hip replacement are generally younger, thinner & healthier & highly motivated to participate in rehabilitation programs, than patients who are inclined to undergo traditional procedure. Moreover, minimally invasive techniques are normally less suitable for overweight patients or those who have already undergone hip surgeries in the past. Additionally, patients having significant deformity of hip joint, who are more muscular & those with health problems which can slow healing of incisions are at higher risk of developing problems with minimally invasive hip replacement surgery.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement Surgery
Benefits of total hip replacement surgery generally include lesser damage to soft tissues & which lead to a quicker & less painful recovery period alongside rapidly returning to normal everyday activities. However, current evidence also suggests that long-term benefits of minimally invasive hip replacement surgery do not differ from traditionally performed total hip replacement surgery. Moreover, like other hip replacement procedures, minimally invasive hip replacement procedures also need to be performed by well experienced orthopedic surgeons.