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My 75-year old father had a total hip replacement six months ago. We live in a small town and he insisted on the new operation with the smallest incision possible. His own surgeon didn't do this surgery and sent him to someone else. He ended up in surgery for over nine hours. There were lots of problems after. Please warn your readers of the dangers of this operation.


Any operation has certain risks and possible problems that can occur. The new minimally invasive method of total hip replacement (THR) is meant to reduce those problems. By making a smaller incision there may be less blood loss and less damage to the muscles.

In theory the patient gets better faster. In practice this isn't always the outcome. Many studies have come out now showing no major advantage of the minimally invasive THR. A recent report of three cases in North Carolina showed how extreme problems can occur.

This and other studies repeat the same messages:

  • Patient safety is first in importance.
  • New methods must be studied carefully before being used by everyone.
  • Surgeons should receive training in new operations before using them.
  • Surgeons who do the most number of the same kind of operations have the best results.

    Thomas K. Fehring, MD, and J. Bohannon Mason, MD. Catastrophic Complications of Minimally Invasive Hip Surgery: A Series of Three Cases. In Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. April 2005. Vol. 87-A. No. 4. Pp. 711-714.

    *Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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