When other treatment options have fallen short to relieve hip pain, orthopedists may recommend hip replacement surgery. During this procedure, your orthopedist will remove the damaged joint, replacing it with an artificial joint commonly made from surgical plastic or metal. The most common techniques through which hip replacement surgeries are performed are the standard, traditional hip replacement technique and the minimally invasive technique. While both have their merits, more and more orthopedists are performing minimally invasive hip replacement procedures. Here’s why.
Traditional vs. Minimally Invasive Procedure
In traditional hip replacement surgeries, the surgeon make an incision along the side of the hip to expose the hip joint. The surgeon will replace the affected hip with a prosthetic implant. When the procedure is complete, patients often are left with large scars and a lengthy healing and recovery process. Minimally invasive hip replacement surgery essentially is the same as traditional hip replacement, however, the incision is much smaller – just a few inches long vs. up to 10 inches in traditional hip replacement procedures. There are other benefits too.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement
- Faster Recovery Time – Traditional hip replacement procedures often compromise the tendons and muscles surround the hip joint. With the minimally invasive procedure, results are optimized, resulting in an accelerated recovery time. In fact, most patients who undergo the minimally invasive procedure are mobile the day of the procedure (although it will be necessary for them to rely on walking devices for a few weeks post-op to avoid strain and injury).
- Less scarring and blood loss – Smaller incisions mean less scarring on the outside – and less scar tissue below the surface. Plus, smaller incisions usually mean less bleeding.
- No extended hospital stays – Depending on their health and doctor’s recommendation, many patients have their minimally invasive hip replacement at an outpatient facility. On occasion, a few nights’ stay may be required for observation; either way, you can expect more time recovering at home and not at in-patient facility.
- Less risk – Relying on pain medications is a very real concern. However, because minimally invasive hip replacement procedures cause minimal tissue trauma, pain is often is minimal as well, thereby reducing and maybe even eliminating the need for strong prescription medications. There is also a very low risk of infection and implant dislocation.
Commonly, traditional hip replacement surgery leaves a patient unable to flex his hip beyond a 90 degrees angle, making it difficult to do even the most simple tasks like getting into a car or sitting down. With minimally invasive hip surgery, there is no splitting and detaching of muscles around the hip joint; as such the need to follow strict post-op protocols of traditional hip replacement surgery is minimized.
Hip Replacement Experts in New Jersey
If you have exhausted more conservative treatments such as physical therapy and pain management injection to treat your painful hip, then it may be time to consider hip replacement surgery. Located in Dover, Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey is the Garden State’s most trusted orthopedic practice. Comprised of board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons who are experienced and equipped to treat orthopedic injuries and administer orthopedic surgeries, we are at your service. Reach us at (973) 989-0888 or set up an appointment online to discuss minimally invasive hip surgery or any other orthopedic concern.