Is minimally invasive hip replacement surgery right for you?

Three things to consider about anterior hip replacement and whether it can relieve your pain and restore your mobility.


Does hip pain limit your activity all day and then keep you up all night? Do you need a cane or walker to carry the weight your hip no longer supports? Are you hurting and sore despite the wide array of medicines, procedures, and treatments you’ve already tried?

It may be time to consider hip replacement surgery.

In hip replacement surgery, damaged or diseased parts of your hip joint are replaced with new, manmade components. The surgery can relieve your pain and allow you to move more easily.

You want your life back. You need relief. Are there other options?

Hip replacement surgery is typically done through a long incision on the side or back of your hip. The 10” to 12” opening allows your doctor to see and work on the areas of your hip that are being replaced. The procedure is time-tested and effective, but it requires a hospital stay of several days and a recovery period that lasts long after you’ve gone home.

You want your life back. You need relief. Are there other options?

According to a recent study, anterior hip replacement could give you what you need with minimal disruption to your life. The study’s participants had the following results:

  • 100% stayed in the hospital an average of 26 hours
  • 94% did not have complications following surgery
  • 98% were not re-admitted to the hospital within three months of their surgery

Anterior approach hip replacement surgery

Anterior approach hip replacement may be just what you’re looking for to relieve your hip pain and improve your quality of life. This advanced, minimally invasive approach uses one small incision in the front of your hip to access the affected area and replace the damaged or diseased portions.

Minimally invasive hip replacement could be your best choice if you’re trying to limit your recovery time and get back into the swing of things as quickly as possible.

The anterior approach uses the same type of implants and replacement techniques as traditional hip replacement surgery. The size, location of the incision, and muscle sparing technique are what sets it apart from more traditional approaches.

Why choose this approach?

Minimally invasive hip replacement could be your best choice if you’re trying to limit your recovery time and get back into the swing of things as quickly as possible. Learn more about recovery time here.

Benefits include:

  • Faster, easier recovery period
  • Fewer hip dislocations
  • Less blood loss
  • Less trauma to your muscles and soft tissues
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Smaller scar

Is it the right choice for me?

The first step in deciding whether to have hip replacement surgery and, if so, what type to have, is a frank conversation with your doctor about the pros and cons of each and how they apply to your unique situation.

“No two individuals are the same,” said Dr. Laura Matsen Ko, an orthopedic surgeon who treats patients at Swedish. “The best care personalizes the treatment of disabling hip and knee arthritis to meet the differing needs and circumstances of each individual.” 

In general, the best candidates for the minimally invasive approach are:

  • Having their first hip surgery
  • Motivated
  • BMI < 38 (“thin and muscular” or “fit”)

How do I choose a doctor?

For best results, it’s essential that your orthopedic surgeon and their support team is highly trained and experienced in all aspects of this innovative procedure.

“With my partners and great staff, I am constantly working on better ways to evaluate and manage the many variations in hip and knee arthritis so that each person gets exactly the care they need,” said Dr. Matsen Ko. “My goal is to get folks back in action, whether that be hiking, cycling, golfing, or simply enjoying a walk in the park.” Dr. Laura Matsen Ko. 

What’s next?

If you’re ready to take control of your hip pain and how it affects your life, you have several choices:

  1. Talk to your primary care provider. If you don’t have one, you can find one here.
  2. Take a seminar to educate yourself on what’s possible. Register here.

You don’t have to live with chronic pain and limited mobility. Let us help you explore all your options.

Related resources

Swedish Orthopedic Institute

Free seminar: Is joint replacement for you?

Get on your feet: Learn about rapid recovery joint replacement

When should you replace that aching joint?

About the Author

Whether you're interested in physical fitness, an athlete looking for performance tips, or it's time for a full or partial replacement of knees, shoulders or hips, the Swedish Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Team is committed to providing you with expert advice on how to prevent injury, plan for physical activity and recover from orthopedic procedures. Our mission is to help you live the active lifestyle you want.

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