Hip Replacement Techniques
What is SuperPath® Hip Replacement?
The surgical technique for a SuperPath® Hip Replacement was developed as an advancement to traditional total hip replacement. The SuperPath® technique is a tissue-sparing procedure which aims to get patients back on their feet within days (possibly hours) instead of weeks or months. A number of patients who have undergone this procedure are able to walk unassisted the day after surgery, and leave the hospital without the typical restrictions (such as crossing their legs) associated with total hip replacement.
SuperPath® hip replacement is a differentiated total hip technique being performed by a growing number of experienced surgeons.
With SuperPath®, there is no surgical dislocation of the hip. Patients can also have as little as a 3-inch incision. It is important to understand that “less invasive” does not only refer to the incision but also means less trauma to the muscles and tendons under the skin. A SuperPath® Hip Replacement is designed to precisely reconstruct the hip without cutting critical tendons and stretching or traumatizing muscles that are important to hip function.
Because of the elimination of damage to these important structures during reconstruction, patients typically have a short hospital stay and a number of patients walk the same day as their surgery.
Learn more about SuperPath® in the following videos:
Other Hip Replacement Techniques
It is important to recognize that the term “less invasive” does not refer only to the use of a shorter skin incision. Less invasive also means less trauma to muscles and tendons. Other hip replacement techniques may be labeled “minimally invasive.” However, these techniques may require cutting more muscles and tendons, and clinical studies have shown they may have some very serious complications. Please read the following information and the studies that are referenced, and decide for yourself.
The Mini-Posterior Approach is possibly the most common total hip approach associated with the term “Minimally Invasive Surgery” or MIS Total Hip Replacement. The Mini-Posterior approach is a simple procedure, but it involves cutting through several muscle structures as well as several tendons. Patients frequently walk the day after surgery with this approach, possibly due to the large amount of pain-killing injections the patient receives during surgery, but not because of less muscle damage. Studies have shown that this technique may have a frequent incidence of post-operative hip dislocations.
Like the Mini-Posterior Approach, the Anterior Approach was designed to allow doctors to replace the hip with limited cutting of muscles and tendons while reducing the occurrence of post-operative hip dislocations. Clinical studies have shown that the anterior approach does reduce damage to soft tissue and is associated with fast early recovery1-4; however, it may be difficult to perform the procedure as the surgeon has limited working space and is approaching the joint from a different view than they are traditionally accustomed.
- Martin C. A comparison of hospital length of stay and short-term morbidity between the anterior and posterior approaches to THR. J Arthroplasty. 2013;28(5):849-54.
- Alecci V. Comparison of primary THR performed with direct anterior vs. standard lateral approach – perioperative findings. J Orthop Traumatol. 2011; 12:123-129
- Zawadsky M. Early outcome comparison between the direct anterior approach and the mini-incision posterior approach for primary THR – 150 consecutive cases. J Arthroplasty. 2014; 29:1256-1260.
- As compared to traditional surgery. Schweppe M. Does surgical approach in total hip arthroplasty affect rehabilitation, discharge disposition, and readmission rate? Surg Technol Int. 2013; 23:219-27.