Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

I heard the new mini-surgery for hip replacement takes less time and fewer days in the hospital. How much less?

Answer:

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.

*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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