Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine



I just had a total hip replacement last month. I was pretty dismayed when I saw how long the incision is--about 12 inches. I thought they could do this operation with a tiny opening now.


The standard opening for hip joint replacement is still between five and 10 inches. Not all surgeons use the mini-incision for this operation. Some patients are too large for the mini-approach.

Sometimes the skin is too tight and a longer incision is needed. In other cases, the surgeon needs to see more of the joint so a bigger opening is needed.

Chances are you got the standard incision if you didn't ask for a small incision before the operation. If you ever have the other hip replaced, be sure and talk with your surgeon about this option.

John M. Wright, MD, et al. Mini-Incision for Total Hip Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Arthroplasty. August 2004. Vol. 19. No. 5. Pp. 538-545.

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