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My uncle had a total hip replacement with the new minimally invasive surgery. Within the first 24 hours of getting up and putting weight on the new joint, he fell and broke his hip. Is it possible damage to the bone during surgery caused the fracture?


No one has really answered the question which came first: the broken bone or the fall?

Older adults with brittle or osteoporotic bones are at increased risk for hip fractures. In theory, the forces applied to the bones during a hip joint replacement could cause a fracture. If a patient has extremely weak bones, he or she usually isn't a good candidate for a joint replacement.

minimally invasive total hip replacement means the opening or incision is very small (about 2 to 2 1/2 inches long). The surgeon can't really see inside the joint using this method. X-rays are taken to see the placement of the implant. The X-rays also show the condition of the bone. A fracture would have been noticed at the time of the operation.

You may want to ask the physician to review the X-rays with you to satisfy your concerns about this point.

Justin de Beer, MD, FRCS(C), et al. Single-Incision, Minimally Invasive Total Hip Arthroplasty. Length Doesn't Matter. In The Journal of Arthroplasty. December 2004. Vol. 19. No. 8. Pp. 945-950.

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