A minimal invasive approach for elective hip surgery has been implemented in our institution in the past. It is widely hypothesized that implanting artificial hips in a minimal invasive fashion decreases surgical trauma and is helpful in the rehabilitation process in elective hip surgery. Thereby geriatric patients requiring emergency hip surgery also could theoretically benefit from a procedure that involves less tissue trauma.
Sixty patients who sustained a fractured neck of femur were randomly assigned into two groups. In the minimal invasive arm, the so called “direct anterior approach” (DAA) was chosen, in the conventional arm the Watson-Jones-Approach was used for implantation of a bipolar hemi-arthroplasty.
Primary outcome parameter was the mobility as measured by the four-item-Barthel index. Secondary outcome parameters included pain, haemoglobin-levels, complications, duration of surgery, administration of blood transfusion and external length of incision. Radiographs were evaluated.
A statistically significant difference (p=0,009) regarding the mobility as measured with the four-item Barthel index was found at the 5th postoperative day, favouring the DAA. Evaluation of the intensity of pain with a visual analogue scale (VAS) showed a statistically significant difference (p=0,035) at day 16. No difference was evident in the comparison of radiographic results.
Comparing two different approaches to the hip joint for the implantation of a bipolar hemi-arthroplasty after fractured neck of femur, it can be stated that mobilization status is improved for the DAA compared to the WJA when measured by the four-item Barthel index, there is less pain as measured using the VAS. There is no radiographic evidence that a minimal invasive technique leads to inferior implant position.
Level of Evidence: Level II therapeutic study.