Question:I'm comparing the costs of the usual surgery for total hip replacement with the new mini-incision method. It looks like I'll be in the hospital the same amount of time. Is there any difference in how much therapy I'll need between these two approaches?
Standard total hip replacement is done with an incision long enough to open the hip joint (about four to five inches). Several major muscles to the hip are also cut away. These are reattached later with the standard method.
The newer minimally invasive operation uses an incision that's only 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long. The joint capsule and nearby muscles are left alone. There may not be big cost savings with the mini-incision. You may have less blood loss. Usually patients donate blood to themselves before the operation for use during the operation.
If your hospital stay is shorter with the mini-incision then your rehab may take longer. When all things are equal, patients in both groups (long or short incision) spend about the same amount of time in rehab.George F. Chimento, MD, et al. Minimally Invasive Total Hip Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Arthroplasty. February 2005. Vol. 20. No. 2. Pp. 139-144.
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