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Minimally Invasive Hip Surgery

Inevitably, soft tissue disruption occurs when a total joint replacement is performed. The premise of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is to minimise this soft tissue disruption both with the skin incision and the dissection of the deeper tissues.

This has the potential benefit of reducing intra-operative blood loss, improve speed of rehabilitation and recovery, and decrease hospital stay.


Minimally Invasive Hip Surgery
Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)


A number of different minimally invasive techniques exist in a total hip replacement. This is based on the number of incisions (one or two) or the anatomical approach to the joint (for example anterior, posterior or direct lateral).

Often minimally invasive joint surgery creates the potential for reduced visualisation and subsequently improper component placement. It is fact however that the one factor that allows the implant to survive as long as possible, is when it they been placed in the correct position.

Use of intra-operative X-Ray and computer assisted surgery are being used to improve correct orientation of the implants.

The skin incision therefore can be small but needs to be adequate enough to allow for proper placements of the components. Perhaps we should really call it least invasive surgery rather than minimally invasive surgery.

For the majority of patients the average length for a minimal incision hip replacement is 8-10 cm.

In addition, the use of new anaesthetic techniques developed concurrently with MIS surgery has improved the speed at which patient can be rehabilitated.

Not all patients are a candidate for MIS joint surgery. Hip resurfacing can not be done using MIS.


osteoarthritis of the right hip uncemented total hip replacement minimal incision
This 55 year old lady presents with osteoarthritis of the right hip. She had an uncemented total hip replacement through a minimally invasive approach. This is the incision at three months. The scar measures 8 cms. Scar size is not so important, the way the components have been placed is far more important!


Information on MIS hip replacement