· Minimally invasive approach
· Well trained and experienced orthopedic surgeon
· Robotic assistance
· Outpatient or highly rated hospital facility
· Proven implants
· Efficient office
Minimally invasive approach – a minimally invasive approach is critical to reduce the pain of surgery, speed recovery, lower the risk of complications, and make sure there are no permanent restrictions. You have three minimally invasive approaches to choose from: anterior, direct superior, and superPATH. Be wary of surgeons who use the legacy ‘posterior’ approach as it weakens the hip joint, hurts, and leaves you with permanent restrictions.
Well-trained and experienced surgeon – we recommend an orthopedic surgeon who is fellowship-trained in joint replacement surgery and does at least 100 joint replacements per year. The best surgeons pick one approach and stick with it.
Robotic assistance – the Stryker Mako is the first robotic to be widely used, but all of the major implant manufacturers are relying on the future of robotics and introducing a system of their own. Robotic assistance enables orthopedic surgeons to be tremendously more accurate in their work. But the biggest benefit to robotic assistance is in the selection and placement of implants. Studies show surgeons place hip implants more accurately, with a 400% reduction in the risk of postoperative dislocation, when they use a robotic assistant. Do not have hip replacement surgery without it.
Outpatient or highly rated facility – to reduce the risk of hospital errors and infection, we recommend having your hip replaced in an ambulatory surgery center. If there is no ambulatory surgery center in your city, then a highly rated hospital is preferred. The government website Hospital Compare publishes the rate of complications for total joint replacement by hospital for Medicare patients. Do not have surgery in a hospital with above average rate of complications.
Proven implants – registries of consecutive patients who have joint replacement surgeries have shown some ball and socket combinations have much better track records than others. In the Australian registry, cementless implants are used more frequently than those that require cement. The Trident (Stryker), Pinnacle (DuPuy), and trinity (Corin) were the most popular sockets, while the Corail (DuPuy), Accolade II (Stryker), and Metafix (Corin) were the top three balls.
Efficient office–patient satisfaction reviews on the internet are a good indication of the efficiency of an orthopedic surgeon’s office. We recommend looking at the average and exclude rankings without enough reviews to create a reliable rating.