Hip Replacement

Frequently Asked Questions

5. Are there different types of hip replacements?

There are two major types of hip replacement surgery: traditional and minimally invasive, also called mini-incision hip replacement. In a traditional surgery, the surgeon makes a 10- to 12-inch incision through some of the muscles around the hip to expose the joint. Then the surgeon removes the damaged bone and cartilage and replaces them with an artificial joint, or prosthesis.

In minimally invasive surgery, the surgeon makes one or two much smaller incisions between the muscles. These incisions may be in the back, side, or front of the hip. The recovery time for the mini-incision surgery is shorter than for traditional surgery.

In addition to different types of surgery there are different types of hip prostheses: cemented and uncemented. Components of cemented prostheses are attached to your existing bone with special glue or cement. Uncemented prostheses have a porous surface and rely on a process call biologic fixation -- or growth of your own bone into the prosthesis’ porous surface -- to hold them in place. As a result, recovery time for a joint using biologic fixation may be longer.