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Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement


Minimally invasive total hip replacement is surgery to replace a damaged hip joint with an implant.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


  • You may bleed more than expected and get an infection. Your nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, or muscles may be damaged during surgery. You may have more hip pain, or your hip joint may become stiff or numb. Your joint movement may not be as stable as it was before your surgery. Your legs may not be the same length. You may have bone loss, or bones near the implant may break or crack. You may get a blood clot in your leg. This can become life-threatening.
  • Your implant may get loose or move out of place. If this happens, you may need another surgery to replace the implant. You may also need surgery to remove infected tissues. If you do not have this surgery, your hip pain may get worse. You may have more trouble walking or moving around. You may also have trouble going back to your usual activities.


Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.

During your surgery:

A 3- to 6-inch incision will be made on the front or side of your hip. The ball of your femur and the damaged cartilage in the socket of your pelvis will be removed with medical tools. Your caregiver may make another incision over the back of your hip to see the joint better. The hip implant will be fitted to replace the bones that were removed. Your caregiver will use screws or medical cement to secure the implant. An x-ray may be done to check the position of the implant. A drain may be placed to remove blood and fluids from the surgery area. Your incision will be closed with stitches or staples and covered with a bandage.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room where you can rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed. When caregivers see that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room. The bandage covering your incision helps keep it clean and dry to prevent infection. A caregiver may remove the bandage soon after surgery to check your wound.

  • Deep breathing and coughing will decrease your risk for a lung infection. Take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can. Let the air out and then cough strongly. Deep breaths help open your airway. You may be given an incentive spirometer to help you take deep breaths. Put the plastic piece in your mouth and take a slow, deep breath. Then let the air out and cough. Repeat these steps 10 times every hour.
  • You may need to wear pressure stockings or inflatable boots after surgery. The stockings are tight and put pressure on your legs. The boots have an air pump that tightens and loosens different areas of the boots. Both of these improve blood flow and help prevent clots.
  • Move your legs, ankles, and feet as directed while you are in bed. You may be asked to stand the same day of your surgery. You may start to walk the day after your surgery.
  • Support devices such as a cane, walker, or crutches may be needed. These devices will help decrease your risk of falling. Use your device as directed.
  • Physical therapy may be needed. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.
  • Prevent dislocation of your hip implant:
    • Do not lean forward when you are in bed or sit up with your legs straight out in front of you.
    • Do not sit on a low chair. Use armrests when you rise from a sitting position to decrease the force and pressure on your hips.
    • Do not cross your legs.
  • Medicines:
    • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
    • Patient controlled analgesia is pain medicine through an IV or an epidural line attached to a patient controlled analgesia (PCA) pump. Caregivers set the pump to let you give yourself small amounts of pain medicine when you push a button. Your pump may also give you a constant amount of medicine, in addition to the medicine that you give yourself. Let caregivers know if your pain is still bad even with the pain medicine.
    • Antibiotics help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
    • Antinausea medicine may be given to calm your stomach and to help prevent vomiting.
    • Muscle relaxers help relax your muscles. It is also given to decrease pain and muscle spasms.
    • Blood thinners help prevent blood clots. Blood thinners may be given before, during, and after a surgery or procedure. Blood thinners make it more likely for you to bleed or bruise.
    • Stool softeners make it easier for you to have a bowel movement. You may need this medicine to treat or prevent constipation.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement (Inpatient Care)

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