Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

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.

Answer:

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.

*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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