Please read the information below to assess whether you may be a candidate for minimally invasive hip replacement surgery.
Anatomy of the Hip
A normal hip is composed of two parts, the acetabulum “socket” or “cup,” and the femur (thigh bone) “head” or “ball.” A protective, smooth material called cartilage covers both and acts as a cushion to allow the hip joint to move easily and painlessly.
Common Hip Disorders
In many situations, the cartilage around the hip joint is destroyed and the smooth contact between the cup and the femur bone becomes disrupted. This leads to pain, stiffness, difficulty walking and decreased quality of life.
The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis generally develops from “wear and tear.” As we age, most of us will develop degenerative arthritis of one or more joints. This arthritis is characterized by destruction of cartilage and bony overgrowth (bone spurs). The most severe cases will have no cartilage and, instead, will have bone on bone contact.
Characterized by localized bone death, avascular necrosis results from disruption of blood flow to the femoral head. The bone death may be painful and usually causes the bone to collapse, eventually leading to joint destruction and arthritis.
Total Hip Replacement Surgery
Your doctor may have told you that you are a candidate for hip replacement surgery. This surgery removes the damaged femoral head and resurfaces the joint with metal and plastic, allowing for a new, smooth articulation between the ball and socket. The procedure will decrease pain and stiffness and restore function.
Minimally invasive total hip procedure
The minimally invasive procedure involves the use of the same prosthesis as a regular hip surgery, but is performed using small incisions. The smaller incisions cause less soft tissue disruption, meaning decreased post-operative pain and a quicker recovery. We use two different procedure methods: one small incision or two very small incisions. The method used depends on multiple factors, including the patient’s arthritis, bone type, body size and body shape. The hospital stay is routinely one day for younger patients and two days for older patients.
The two-incision method
Two small incisions are made around the hip. Each is one to two inches long. A standard hip replacement is then inserted through these two small portals. The components inserted are cementless. This means that your bone will grow into the prosthesis itself to achieve stable fixation. These two small portals cause less disruption to skin, muscles and ligaments with the result being less pain and faster recovery than a standard hip replacement.
The one-incision method
The one incision method reduces the incision to less than 4 inches. This small incision disrupts less skin, muscles and ligaments; therefore, causing less pain and allowing for a faster recovery. The components inserted are usually cementless, but may be cemented.
You may be a candidate for minimally invasive total hip replacement if: