• Provides exposure to
    • acetabulum
    • proximal femur
  • Indications include
    • THR
      • minimally invasive approach does not improve post-op gait kinematics when compared to traditional trans-gluteal approach
      • patient at high risk for dislocation may benefit from antero-lateral approach since no posterior soft tissue disruption
      • some concern that this approach can weaken the abductor and cause limping
    • hemiarthroplasty
    • ORIF of femoral neck fracture
    • synovial biopsy of hip
    • biopsy of femoral neck
Intermuscular plane
  • Anesthesia
    • general or spinal/epidural is appropriate
  • Position
    • generally performed in the lateral decubitus position
    • patient's buttock close to the edge of the table to let fat fall away from incision
  • Landmarks
    • ASIS
    • greater trochanter
    • shaft of the femur
  • Incision
    • make incision starting 2.5 cm posterior and distal to ASIS
    • as it runs distal, it becomes centered over the tip of the greater trochanter 
      • crosses posterior 1/3 of trochanter before running down the shaft of the femur
  • Superficial dissection
    • incise fat in line with incision and clear fascia lata
    • incise fascia
      • incise in direction of fibers, this will be more anterior as your dissect proximal
      • incise at the posterior border of the greater trochanter
    • develop interval between tensor fasciae latae and gluteus medius
      • there will be a small series of vessels in this interval
    • externally rotate the hip to put the capsule on stretch
    • identify origin of vastus lateralis
  • Deep dissection
    • detach abductor mechanism by one of two mechanisms
      • trochanteric osteotomy (shown in this illustration)
        • distal osteotomy site is just proximal to vastus lateralis ridge 
      • partial detachment of abductor mechanism
        • place stay suture to prevent muscle split and damage to superior gluteal nerve
        • nerve is 5cm proximal to the acetabular rim
    • expose anterior joint capsule
    • detach reflected head of rectus femoris from the joint capsule to expose the anterior rim of the acetabulum
      • easier with leg flexed slightly
    • elevate part of the psoas tendon from the capsule
    • perform anterior capsulotomy
    • dislocate hip with external rotation
  • Extension 
    • proximal
      • incise more fasciae latae proximally to allow increased adduction and external rotation of the leg
    • distal
      • incise down the deep fascia of the leg
      • allows access to the vastus lateralis which can be elevated to allow direct access to the entire femur

  • Femoral nerve
    • most common problem is compression neuropraxia caused by medial retraction
    • direct injury can occur from placing retractor into the psoas muscle
  • Femoral artery and vein
    • can be damaged by retractors that penetrate the psoas
    • confirm that anterior retractor is directly on bone
  • Abductor limp
    • caused by trochanteric osteotomy and/or disruption of abductor mechanism
    • caused by denervation of the tensor fasciae by aggressive muscle split
  • Femoral shaft fractures
    • usually occurs during dislocation (be sure to perform and adequate capsulotomy)


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(OBQ11.186) A 67-year-old male with severe hip arthritis presents for evaluation of a total hip arthroplasty. The patient is requesting a minimally invasive Watson-Jones approach, as he has heard post-operative mobility is significantly improved compared with a traditional transgluteal technique. What should the patient be told to expect regarding early post-operative gait kinematics when comparing these surgical approaches? Review Topic

QID: 3609

The minimally invasive Watson-Jones approach results in improved gait velocity, cadence, and step length




There is no difference in early gait kinematics between the two approaches




The minimally invasive Watson-Jones approach results decreased gait velocity and stride length




The traditional transgluteal approach results in worse early gait kinematics




Early gait kinematics is dependent only on the type of prosthesis used, not surgical approach



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