Mini Hip Replacement
Hip arthritis is a common affliction among patients over the age of 60 and is becoming more common in younger patients. It can progress into a disabling condition limiting one’s ability to carry out normal activities of daily living or recreation. In some cases, a total hip replacement is needed, which replaces the arthritic hip joint with an artificial “ball-in-socket” joint.
The new minimally invasive total hip replacement allows a return to normal activity in less than half the time of traditional total hip replacement surgery. Developed in part by Dr. Todd Swanson, M.D. of Desert Orthopaedic Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, this technique has been shown to have many advantages over traditional total hip replacement surgery.
The minimally invasive total hip replacement as performed by Dr. Swanson, using a titanium prosthesis implanted without cement, replaces the arthritic hip through a 3-4 inch incision. This, combined with immediate full weight bearing, results in a more rapid recovery. The traditional total hip replacement usually requires an incision measuring 6-10 inches in length, often 6 weeks on crutches or walker, and typically 3 months total recovery time. With the minimally invasive technique, hospital stays are typically 2-3 days and patients generally return to 75-80% of normal activities by 3-4 weeks.
Dr. Swanson’s research has shown that minimally invasive total hip replacement minimizes the amount of anesthesia required, reduces blood loss and the need for blood transfusions, minimizes postoperative pain, and shortens hospital stays and recovery time. It also minimizes the risk of complications, particularly non-orthopedic complications such as heart or lung problems. Additionally, many other total hip replacement techniques require the use of bone cement. Several studies have suggested that bone cement may increase the risk of blood clots, lung complications, and even death. Minimally invasive total hip replacement minimizes complications by minimizing the amount of surgery required, tissue trauma, operative time, and eliminates the use of bone cement.