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      Minimally invasive and computer-navigated total hip arthroplasty: a qualitative and systematic review of the literature

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          Both minimally invasive surgery (MIS) and computer-assisted surgery (CAS) for total hip arthroplasty (THA) have gained popularity in recent years. We conducted a qualitative and systematic review to assess the effectiveness of MIS, CAS and computer-assisted MIS for THA.


          An extensive computerised literature search of PubMed, Medline, Embase and OVIDSP was conducted. Both randomised clinical trials and controlled clinical trials on the effectiveness of MIS, CAS and computer-assisted MIS for THA were included. Methodological quality was independently assessed by two reviewers. Effect estimates were calculated and a best-evidence synthesis was performed.


          Four high-quality and 14 medium-quality studies with MIS THA as study contrast, and three high-quality and four medium-quality studies with CAS THA as study contrast were included. No studies with computer-assisted MIS for THA as study contrast were identified. Strong evidence was found for a decrease in operative time and intraoperative blood loss for MIS THA, with no difference in complication rates and risk for acetabular outliers. Strong evidence exists that there is no difference in physical functioning, measured either by questionnaires or by gait analysis. Moderate evidence was found for a shorter length of hospital stay after MIS THA. Conflicting evidence was found for a positive effect of MIS THA on pain in the early postoperative period, but that effect diminished after three months postoperatively. Strong evidence was found for an increase in operative time for CAS THA, and limited evidence was found for a decrease in intraoperative blood loss. Furthermore, strong evidence was found for no difference in complication rates, as well as for a significantly lower risk for acetabular outliers.


          The results indicate that MIS THA is a safe surgical procedure, without increases in operative time, blood loss, operative complication rates and component malposition rates. However, the beneficial effect of MIS THA on functional recovery has to be proven. The results also indicate that CAS THA, though resulting in an increase in operative time, may have a positive effect on operative blood loss and operative complication rates. More importantly, the use of CAS results in better positioning of acetabular component of the prosthesis.

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          Most cited references 41

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          The operation of the century: total hip replacement.

          In the 1960s, total hip replacement revolutionised management of elderly patients crippled with arthritis, with very good long-term results. Today, young patients present for hip-replacement surgery hoping to restore their quality of life, which typically includes physically demanding activities. Advances in bioengineering technology have driven development of hip prostheses. Both cemented and uncemented hips can provide durable fixation. Better materials and design have allowed use of large-bore bearings, which provide an increased range of motion with enhanced stability and very low wear. Minimally invasive surgery limits soft-tissue damage and facilitates accelerated discharge and rehabilitation. Short-term objectives must not compromise long-term performance. Computer-assisted surgery will contribute to reproducible and accurate placement of implants. Universal economic constraints in healthcare services dictate that further developments in total hip replacement will be governed by their cost-effectiveness.
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            Dislocations after total hip-replacement arthroplasties.

            In a series of 300 total hip replacements, nine (3 per cent) dislocated. Precise measurements of the orientation of the acetabular cup were made and it was found that anterior dislocations were associated with increased acetabular-component anteversion. There was no significant correlation between cup-orientation angle and posterior dislocation. The dislocation rate for cup orientation with anteversion of 15 +/- 10 degrees and lateral opening of 40 +/- 10 degrees was 1.5 per cent, while outside this "safe" range the dislocation rate was 6.1 per cent. Other factors that were documented include time after surgery (with the greatest risk in the first thirty days) and surgical history (with a greater risk in hips that have had prior surgery).
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              Should meta-analyses of interventions include observational studies in addition to randomized controlled trials? A critical examination of underlying principles.

              Some authors argue that systematic reviews and meta-analyses of intervention studies should include only randomized controlled trials because the randomized controlled trial is a more valid study design for causal inference compared with the observational study design. However, a review of the principal elements underlying this claim (randomization removes the chance of confounding, and the double-blind process minimizes biases caused by the placebo effect) suggests that both classes of study designs have strengths and weaknesses, and including information from observational studies may improve the inference based on only randomized controlled trials. Furthermore, a review of empirical studies suggests that meta-analyses based on observational studies generally produce estimates of effect similar to those from meta-analyses based on randomized controlled trials. The authors found that the advantages of including both observational studies and randomized studies in a meta-analysis could outweigh the disadvantages in many situations and that observational studies should not be excluded a priori.

                Author and article information

                BMC Musculoskelet Disord
                BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
                BioMed Central
                17 May 2010
                : 11
                : 92
                [1 ]Department of Orthopaedics, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
                [2 ]Center for Human Movement Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
                [3 ]Department of Health Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
                Copyright ©2010 Reininga et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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