Hip Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery

October 6, 2017

What “Minimally Invasive” Really Means When It Comes to Hip Surgery


Hip replacement surgery is a well-established procedure that can greatly reduce pain and improve mobility. In 1940, the first surgeon in the US performed a metallic hip replacement in South Carolina. Since that first surgery, medical advances have made the technique easier on patients and has improved recovery time by reducing the trauma to the patient’s body during the procedure.

Surgical innovations over the last 75 years include two progressive surgeries—hip resurfacing and minimally invasive hip replacement.

What is Hip Resurfacing?
In general, hip resurfacing involves reshaping the top of the femoral head (thighbone) and covering it with a metal cap.  The cartilage in the hip socket is replaced with a metal shell.  If you want to determine which is better for you, hip resurfacing versus total hip replacement, your surgical specialist can provide trusted advice.

The Definition of a “Minimally Invasive” Hip Replacement
During any operation, a surgeon typically has to make an incision large enough to access the hipbone area. In traditional hip replacement surgery, the incision is 10 to 12 inches long, granting the surgeon full access to the hip joint.  In a minimally invasive total hip replacement, the top of the bone is removed and replaced with a metal piece.   Hip replacement surgery generally involves replacing the top of the bone and the damaged part of the socket.

There are two options for a minimally invasive hip replacement.

  • During a single-incision surgery, the physician accesses the site through a three- to six-inch opening. Although the muscles and tendons still experience trauma, it is to a lesser degree than traditional surgery.
  • During a two-incision surgery, the physician uses one two- to three-inch opening over the groin in order to replace the damaged socket and another opening over the buttock to replace the top of the bone.

Options for Hip Replacement Surgery
Whether you are a candidate for minimally invasive total hip replacement depends on several factors. Your surgeon will examine your overall physical health, your medical history and other risk factors that will lead to a discussion about your options. You must also be committed to following a rehabilitation regimen after the procedure.

Learn More
If you have questions about hip resurfacing or minimally invasive hip surgery, Arkansas Surgical Hospital is here to help. Contact us to learn more by calling our Physician Referral Assistance line (877)918-7020 or by requesting a referral online today.

need help scheduling
an appointment with a surgeon?

more questions?


Main Line
Toll-Free Number
Visit the hospital
5201 Northshore Drive
North Little Rock, AR 72118