What is Posterior Hip Replacement?
Posterior hip replacement is a minimally invasive hip surgery performed to replace the hip joint. It is also referred to as muscle sparing surgery because no muscles are cut to access the hip joint, enabling a quicker return to normal activity.
The posterior approach is the most common approach used to perform a total hip replacement. In a posterior hip replacement, the surgeon makes the hip incision to the side of the hip. The incision is placed so the abductor muscles, the major walking muscles, are not cut.
Hip replacement is indicated in patients with arthritis of the hip joint. Arthritis is a condition in which the articular cartilage that covers the joint surface is damaged or worn out causing pain and inflammation. Some of the causes of arthritis include:
- Advancing age
- Congenital or developmental hip diseases
- Previous history of hip injury or fracture
- Increased stress on hip because of overuse
Patients with arthritis may have a thinner articular cartilage lining, a narrowed joint space, the presence of bone spurs, or excessive bone growth around the edges of the hip joint. Because of all these factors arthritis patients can experience pain, stiffness, and restricted movements.
Your doctor will evaluate arthritis based on the characteristic symptoms and diagnostic tests. Your orthopedic surgeon will perform a physical examination, order X-rays and other scans, and also some blood tests to rule out any conditions that may cause similar symptoms.
Advantages of Posterior Hip Replacement
The advantages of the posterior approach include:
- High success rate
- Minimally invasive
- No muscle damage
- More precise placement of implants
- Allows excellent visibility of the joint
Risks and Complications
All surgeries carry an element of risk whether it is related to the anesthesia or the procedure itself. Risks and complications are rare but can occur. Below is a list of complications that can occur following any hip replacement procedure:
- Infection at the incision site or in the joint space
- Nerve damage
- Hemarthrosis: excess bleeding into the joint after the surgery.
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot)
- Leg length inequality
- You will begin walking on your day of surgery.
- You will either return home on the day of or the day after your surgery.
- You will only have one restriction with Dr. Carlson; to prevent hip flexion beyond 90 degrees so your tissues can rest postoperatively.
- You will begin a strengthening regimen with physical therapy immediately.