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Frisch Ortho Hip and Knee Specialist
  • Rochester
    Tawas City

Posterior Hip Replacement

Posterior hip replacement is a minimally invasive hip surgery performed to replace the hip joint.

The posterior approach is traditionally the most common approach used to perform total hip replacement.

In posterior hip replacement, the surgeon makes the hip incision toward the back of the hip close to the buttocks. The incision is placed so the abductor muscles, the major walking muscles, are not cut.


Hip replacement is indicated in patients with arthritis of the hip joint.

Arthritis is a condition in which the articular cartilage that covers the joint surface is damaged or worn out causing pain and inflammation. Some of the causes of arthritis include:

  • Advancing age
  • Congenital or developmental hip diseases
  • Obesity
  • Previous history of hip injury or fracture
  • Increased stress on hip because of overuse


Patients with arthritis may have a thinner articular cartilage lining, a narrowed joint space, presence of bone spurs or excessive bone growth around the edges of the hip joint. Because of all these factors arthritis patients can experience pain, stiffness, and restricted movements.


Your doctor will evaluate arthritis based on the characteristic symptoms and diagnostic tests. Your orthopaedic surgeon will perform a physical examination; order X-rays and other scans, and some blood tests to rule out any other conditions that may cause similar symptoms.


We use a mini-posterior approach to the hip with minimally-invasive techniques. Posterior hip replacement surgery involves the following steps:

  • The procedure is performed under general or regional anesthesia.
  • You will lie sideways on the operating table.
  • A small incision is made on the side of the hip, close to the buttocks beyond the abductor muscles.
  • The surgeon separates the muscles and tendons to gain access to the hip joint.
  • The thigh bone or femur is separated from the hip socket, acetabulum.
  • The damaged femoral head is cut off and the bone is prepared to receive the femoral component of the prosthesis.
  • The acetabular surface is then prepared and the acetabular component of the prosthesis is inserted.
  • A liner made up of plastic, metal or ceramic is placed inside the acetabular component to provide a smooth, gliding surface.
  • Then the new femoral component is inserted into the femur bone and the femoral head component is placed on the stem.
  • Once the artificial components are fixed in place, the instruments are withdrawn, soft tissues are re-approximated, and the incisions are closed with sutures and covered with a sterile dressing.

The advantages of the mini- posterior approach include:

  • High success rate
  • Minimally invasive
  • Smaller incision
  • Minimal muscle damage
  • Precise placement of implants
  • Allows excellent visibility of the joint

Risks and Complications

All surgeries carry an element of risk whether it is related to the anesthesia or the procedure itself. Risks and complications are rare but can occur. Below is a list of complications that can occur following any hip replacement procedure:

  • Dislocation
  • Infection
  • Fracture
  • Nerve damage
  • Hemarthrosis - excess bleeding into the joint after the surgery.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot)
  • Leg length inequality

In the event of an emergency dial 911.

In the event of a concerning post-operative complication, please contact us immediately for prompt support. Most concerns can be appropriately addressed by our team and we will make every effort to be available to you in a timely fashion. Avoid going to the Emergency Department for surgical issues unless necessary, or unless instructed by our team.

Credibility Links

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Medical Association
  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
  • Mid-America Orthopaedic Association
  • Michigan Institute for Advanced Surgery Center
  • FAAOS Logo