Question:I heard the new mini-surgery for hip replacement takes less time and fewer days in the hospital. How much less?
The answer to your questions really depends on the surgeon. If the mini-incision method is fairly new to the surgeon, the operation itself can take longer. If all things are equal (the doctor has done the same number of both operations: open and mini), then the time is about the same.
Length of hospital stay also varies. The hope is that the newer mini-incision method will mean a shorter hospital stay. But hospitalization may be longer if there are any complications during or after the operation. For example, fractures and dislocations may happen more often when a surgeon is learning a new technique.
A recent study from the University of Missouri reports on this. An experienced surgeon had an overall rate of 42 percent for problems after a two-incision mini-invasive hip replacement. That was compared with six percent for the single-incision method. The surgeon also reported a 25 percent rate of nerve injuries. Any of these (or other) problems can extend a patient's stay in the hospital.B. Sonny Bal, MD, MBA, et al. Early Complications of Primary Total Hip Replacement Performed with a Two-Incision Minimally Invasive Technique. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. November 2005. Vol. 87-A. No. 11. Pp. 2432-2438.
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