Health Problem: Damage to the hip structures may lead to hip pain and impaired hip function that may limit the ability to perform everyday activities. The most common cause of chronic hip pain and disability is damage to the articular cartilage or bones of the hip joint. While conventional total hip arthroplasty (THA) is usually successful in relieving hip pain and disability, recovery from surgery can be prolonged.

Technology Description: Minimally invasive THA (MI THA) can be categorized into surgical approaches that utilize smaller incisions than standard THA, those that involve smaller incisions and less soft tissue dissection than standard THA (less invasive THA), and those that require no cuts into particular muscles (muscle-sparing THA).

Controversy: MI THA may involve greater risk for some complications due to the reduced visual field provided by smaller incisions and the increased use of tissue retractors or specialized instruments. The learning curve is steep, and complications are more common during the learning phase.

Key Questions:

  • How does MI THA compare with standard THA?
  • Is MI THA safe?
  • Have definitive patient selection criteria been established for MI THA?

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