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Posterior Hip Replacement

Posterior hip replacement is one of the most common hip replacement procedures. It’s minimally invasive, which means it uses a smaller incision on the back of the hip than traditional surgery. During posterior hip replacement, your surgeon will access your hip joint without having to cut muscles. This means the muscles involved in walking are left intact.

Should I have posterior hip replacement?

Arthritis in your hip is the main reason for hip replacement. Arthritis can cause joint damage and wear, which leads to pain. Your doctor will perform an exam and tests like X-rays to evaluate your hip. If you have the following effects of arthritis, your doctor may talk with you about posterior hip replacement:

  • Worn or thin cartilage lining in the hip
  • Bone growths or spurs in the hip joint
  • Pain and stiffness
  • Decreased mobility

What happens during a posterior hip replacement?

Your surgeon will start by making an incision on the back of your hip. He or she will then move and separate the tendons and muscles to reach the joint.

Your surgeon will carefully fit and secure four major components in your hip:

  • A component inserted into the joint socket
  • A liner in the socket component to allow for smooth joint movements
  • A component inserted in the thigh bone (the femur)
  • A component placed on top of the thigh bone, called the femoral head

When your components are in place, your surgeon will close the hip and bandage it.

What are the advantages of posterior hip surgery?

In general, the posterior hip replacement has a high success rate and has some advantages when compared to traditional surgery. These typically include:

  • Smaller incision
  • No cutting of the muscle
  • Better visibility for your surgeon
  • Improved implant placement

What are the risks of posterior hip replacement?

Complications can occur with any hip surgery. While rare, these may include:

  • Damage to the nerves or blood vessels
  • A bone fracture or dislocation
  • Hip infection
  • Inequality in leg length
  • Blood clots

What post-op care is needed for posterior hip replacement?

To help you have a smooth recovery, it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions when you are home. Your care team will provide you with a specific list of precautions, which may include:

  • Do not bend or flex the hip more than 90 degrees.
  • Do not cross your legs.
  • Do not rotate your leg inward.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Take your medications regularly.
  • Go to regular physical therapy.
  • Call your doctor if you notice increased swelling or redness.