Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement
What is it?
To replace your painful hip joint with a new prosthetic joint, your surgeon needs to make one or more incisions to access the joint. The size of the incision/s can vary depending on the technique that the surgeon uses.
Dr Glase will discuss the details with you before surgery. He normally recommends the minimally invasive technique as long as there are no contra-indications.
With traditional hip replacement surgery, you’ll normally have an incision 15 to 20 cm long, but with minimally invasive hip replacement surgery, the procedure is performed through a smaller incision, 6 to 8 cm long.
Dr Glase uses a single incision which doesn’t cut through any muscles and he takes care to avoid the nearby nerves.
Advantages of the Minimally Invasive Technique
The main advantages of minimally invasive hip replacement are a reduction in post-operative pain, a shorter hospital stay, a quicker recovery and a smaller incision, resulting in a smaller scar.
The minimally invasive technique usually causes less blood loss as well.
The minimally invasive technique — things to consider
The minimally invasive technique for total hip replacement is suitable for most patients. A common misconception is if you’re very overweight, have very big muscles, or have osteoporosis that you may not be a suitable candidate. In fact, these conditions rarely preclude the minimally invasive approach employed by Dr Glase.
There are some challenges for the surgeon performing a minimally invasive technique. The smaller incisions mean special skills and equipment are required. The surgeon has to work with a reduced field of vision and special care needs to be taken to correctly align the components of the prosthesis.
Care must also be taken to avoid damaging the skin and soft tissue by over-stretching the incision.
The minimally invasive hip replacement technique also takes longer to perform compared to traditional hip replacement surgery.
If you’re considering minimally invasive hip replacement surgery, make sure you select a surgeon who is trained and experienced in this technique as it is technically demanding. Ask lots of questions and make sure you’re comfortable with the answers you receive.
Dr Glase has performed over 3000 minimally invasive hip replacements and he trains other surgeons in the technique. Less than 2% of his patients have required repeat (revision) surgery within 5 years. (National average for revision surgery within 5 years is 3.1 to 3.4%).