Traditional hip replacements typically involve creating an incision approximately 12-14 cm long, allowing your surgeon to access the hip joint. A minimally invasive hip replacement differs by the use of one, or sometimes two, smaller incisions.
A smaller incision creates less damage to the soft tissues and a smaller scar. Patients also report less discomfort following their operation and a quicker return to daily activities. There is currently no evidence that a minimally invasive hip replacement differs from a traditional hip replacement in terms of its medium or long term outlook.
Disadvantages of a minimally invasive hip replacement
While the prospect of a smaller scar and a speedier recovery is appealing, there are disadvantages associated with a minimally invasive hip replacements, such as reduced visibility for the surgeon carrying out the procedure. This can increase the time it takes to perform a hip replacement and even result in the implant being positioned incorrectly, fractures and nerve damage.
Advantages of a less invasive hip replacement
Taking these factors into account, we prefer a less invasive approach to hip replacements. While seeking to minimise scarring and soft tissue damage, the emphasis is on creating enough visibility to place the implant in the correct position and reduce the risk of complications. This technique also minimises the time patients spend under anaesthesia, and provides the same shortened rehabilitation time as a minimally invasive approach.