If you need to have a total hip replacement, your doctor will choose between a traditional surgery and one that is minimally invasive. Both types of surgeries achieve the same result of replacing your damaged hip joint with an artificial joint, but the procedures for the surgeries are different. Here's how the surgeries compare and how your doctor determines which one is suitable for you.
There Is Less Damage To Tissues With Minimally Invasive Surgery
During traditional hip replacement surgery, your orthopedic surgeon makes a long incision along your hip and cuts away the muscles and other tissues to expose your joint. This allows your joint to be fully seen and manipulated during the replacement process. Minimally invasive hip replacement surgery uses much smaller incisions. Your surgeon uses one or two incisions and special surgical tools to work through the smaller areas. Your joint is replaced in the same way, but there is less damage to the muscles and other tissues in your hip. Since the surgeon is restricted somewhat during this procedure, the minimally invasive surgery often takes longer to complete.
Recovery May Be Easier And Quicker With A Smaller Incision
One reason a smaller incision is often preferred is that there is less damage to your body so there is less pain and soreness after the surgery. Your recovery may be quicker and easier to endure. You'll need to undergo physical therapy to restore range of motion in your hip and to strengthen the muscles in the area. With less pain, you may work harder and build strength quicker. You'll also have a smaller scar with the minimally invasive procedure. Depending on how well you recover, you might even have a shorter hospital stay if you have the less invasive type of surgery.
Not All Patients Qualify For The Minimally Invasive Procedure
Your orthopedic surgeon considers many factors when deciding on the best way to perform your surgery. The minimally invasive technique is usually most appropriate on patients who are thin and who don't have well-developed muscles or too much fat in the hip area. If you are overweight or muscular, then traditional surgery may be best. Also, if you have a hip abnormality or if you have had hip surgery before, traditional surgery that fully opens the joint area may be more suitable.
Both types of surgeries achieve the same results and the rehabilitation process after the procedures is the same. Choosing which type of surgery to undergo may be a matter of personal preference or the choice of your surgeon if you are a good candidate for either procedure.