Mini-Posterior Hip Replacement
What is Mini-Posterior Hip Replacement?
Mini-posterior hip replacement is a surgical procedure used to replace your damaged hip with synthetic parts inserted through a small incision made at the back of the hip.
The surgery involves the replacement of portions of the pelvis and femur (thighbone) without disturbing the vital abductor muscles that are critical to hip stability and gait.
Indications for Mini-Posterior Hip Replacement
Indications for the operation include:
- Severe hip pain due to arthritis of any type or other hip disorders.
- Trouble walking, or difficulty with everyday tasks due to a hip injury.
- Difficulty sleeping or sitting comfortably due to a painful hip.
- A serious fracture in the hip joint or thighbone, or tumour growth in the hip.
- A condition called avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue due to lack of blood supply).
Preparation for the Procedure
Your doctor may ask you to start preparing 4 to 6 weeks before the surgery. The preparation might begin with blood tests, urine tests, ECG and X-rays.
Subsequently, you are likely to be told to:
- Stop smoking (if applicable)
- Avoid taking any medications
- Eat a healthy diet
- Maintain good physical condition
- Reduce your weight (if you are overweight)
- Perform exercises to strengthen hip muscles
- Address any open wounds, bites or cuts
- Not eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of the surgery
How is Mini-Posterior Hip Replacement Performed?
Just prior to surgery, you will be given general anaesthesia to make you sleep. During the procedure:
- Small incisions are made in your lower back along the outside of your hip.
- This allows direct access to the hip joint and thigh bone (femur).
- The femoral head (ball) is then taken out of the hip socket (acetabulum).
- The damaged bone at the top of your femoral head is removed.
- The hip socket is hollowed out to allow a synthetic (metal or ceramic) implant.
- A cup (metallic socket with a liner) will be screwed into the socket for the implant.
- The ball implant is placed into the hip socket to create a new ball-and-socket joint.
- Muscles, fat layers, and skin are stitched back together to close the incision.
You are expected to walk with full weight-bearing on the day of the surgery and be discharged the same day or the next.
Risks Associated with the Procedure
Like every surgery, mini-posterior hip replacement comes with its own risks such as:
- Delayed wound healing
- Bleeding or blood clots
- Surgical site infection
- Fracture or dislocation
- Stiffness of the hip joint
- Nerve or tendon damage
- Difference between length of legs
- Early implant loosening
- Implant failure
What Precautions should be Taken as You Recover from the Procedure?
As you recover from the procedure, you need to:
- Avoid taking a bath for the first few weeks (a strip wash is allowed)
- Gradually increase your amount of activities daily
- Prevent the hip from bending excessively
- Avoid crossing the legs, twisting the hip, or climbing stairs
- Follow exercise programmes or other protocols recommended by your doctor
- Refrain from driving until your doctor declares you fit to do so
- Avoid cars or vehicles with low seats
Recovery from the procedure may take anywhere between six weeks to six months depending on the severity of the damage, your age and physical condition, and your activity level.
Benefits of Mini-Posterior Hip Replacement
The main benefits of the procedure include, but are not limited to:
- Minimally invasive for the patient
- Versatile (multi-purpose) procedure
- Superior visualization of the hip for improved accuracy
- Quick recovery with minimal pain
- Greater stability (full movement or flexibility)
- Low complication rate
- Improved quality of life