Minimally invasive total hip arthroplasty: In opposition

David S. Hungerford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


At the Knee Society Winter Meeting in 2003, Seth Greenwald and I debated about whether there should be new standards (ie, regulations) applied to the release of information to the public on "new developments." I argued for the public's "right to know" prior to the publication of peer-reviewed literature. He argued for regulatory constraint or "proving by peer-reviewed publication" before alerting the public. It is not a contradiction for me to currently argue against the public advertising of minimally invasive (MIS) total hip arthroplasty as not yet being in the best interest of the public. It is hard to remember a concept that has so captured both the public's and the surgical community's fancy as MIS. Patients are "demanding" MIS without knowing why. Surgeons are offering it as the next best, greatest thing without having developed the skill and experience to avoid the surgery's risks. If you put "minimally invasive hip replacement" into the Google search engine (, you get 5,170 matches. If you put the same words in PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/entrez/query.fcgi), referencing the National Library of Medicine database, you get SEVENTEEN; none is really a peer-reviewed article. Most are 1 page papers in orthopedics from medical education meetings. On the other hand, there are over 6,000 peer-reviewed articles on total hip arthroplasty. Dr. Thomas Sculco, my couterpart in this debate, wrote an insightful editorial in the American Journal of Orthopedic Surgery in which he stated: "Although these procedures have generated incredible interest and enthusiasm, I am concerned that they may be performed to the detriment of our patients." I couldn't agree with him more. Smaller is not necessarily better and, when it is worse, it will be the "smaller" that is held accountable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-82
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number4 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004


  • Minimally invasive
  • Primary
  • Total hip arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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