Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement

The minimally invasive total hip replacement was developed by Dr. Swanson after being introduced to the concept in early 1997. Dr. Swanson began using the technique in May of 1997 and has continued to make improvements that now allow reliable surgery and reproducibly good results in most patients. Standardization of the technique has allowed teaching to other surgeons. Numerous physicians and orthopedic companies have shown interest in promoting “minimally invasive surgery” for total hip replacements.

The minimally invasive technique utilizes a 3-4 inch incision, much smaller than the 8-10 inch approach historically used for hip replacement. Patients require less anesthesia and pain medication, and mobilize more quickly. This results in both quicker recovery for the patient and a lower incidence of complications.

Patients typically recover from minimally invasive surgery in about one-third the time it takes to recover from standard incision surgery (average time to return to normal daily activities was 4.2 weeks compared to 12 weeks historically and in Dr. Swanson’s original series of his first 100 minimally invasive surgery compared to his last 50 standard incision total hip replacements). Dr. Swanson reported the results of his first 1,000 consecutive minimally invasive total hips in the Journal of Arthroplasty, 2005. In Dr. Swanson’s original series (presented at the 2001 WOA meeting and 2003 AAOS meeting), he found that the overall incidence of complications was reduced from 24% to 13% with the minimally invasive procedure.

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