I know there are pros and cons to the new mini-incision for total hip replacement. Could you please review these again?
Gladly! Those in favor of the minimally invasive total hip replacement (THR) say there's less soft tissue trauma. The large muscles around the hip aren't cut and moved aside to get to the joint.
A smaller incision also means less blood loss, less pain afterwards, and a much nicer looking scar. With fewer problems patients can go home sooner. This saves money in direct and indirect costs.
On the other hand the surgeon isn't able to look right at the hip. It's more difficult to make sure the implant is in its proper place. With a smaller incision it's easier to cut a nerve or blood vessel by mistake.
Surgeons are still tracking and reporting other complications. Reports of hip dislocation and heterotopic ossification (bone growth in the muscle) are starting to trickle in.
Jeffrey S. Feinblatt, MD, et al. Severe Symptomatic Heterotopic Ossification and Dislocation: A Complication After Two-Incision Minimally Invasive Total Hip Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Arthroplasty. September 2005. Vol. 20. No. 6. Pp. 802-806.
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