Which is the best hip replacement surgery approach for me?

Today patients have an increased awareness of the different types of surgical approaches available for total hip replacements.

The better informed a patient is the better position we are both in to discuss all aspects of the surgery.  When determining the final surgical approach many factors are involved, these include;

Patient related factors

  • Bone quality and anatomy
  • Muscle quality
  • Quantity of fatty tissues
  • Previous surgery
  • Age
  • Height and weight
  • Medical history
  • Anaesthetic risks

Surgeon related factors

  • Experience
  • Training
  • Personal preference


The different surgical approaches have specific advantages and disadvantages as we have highlighted.

The best way to establish the pros and cons of each approach is to have a detailed discussion with your surgeon. At OrthoNorth all our surgeons are keen to discuss your specific requirements with you and from those discussions mutually decide what is the best surgery for you.

OrthoNorth surgeons are trained in all approaches to  hip joint surgery and are comfortable making recommendations based on their experience.

We are very happy to answer any questions that you may have about your surgery. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.




When is knee replacement surgery necessary?

Joint replacement surgery aims to restore functionality and comfort.

Joint replacement surgery is regarded as elective surgery and the choice to have surgery primarily rests with the patient who has to weigh up the pros and cons of having the procedure against living with the impact of not having it..

Generally when your lifestyle is interfered with and impacted by pain and stiffness in the knee to the extent that it interferes with activities you enjoy or everyday activities, then surgery is usually needed.

At OrthoNorth we put patients first, you are Ron or Glenda or Pat you are not a collection of detiorated bones on an x-rays.

X-rays give us the diagnosis but the patient tells us when they are ready for surgery.

How long does a knee replacement last for?

There is no clear answer to this question. According to the Australian National Joint Replacement Registry 2015 Annual Report, the chance of a knee replacement not needing to be re-operated on is 92.8% at 14 years. How long your particular knee replacement will last is unknown.

That being said there is much you can do to optomise the longevity of your replacement and we will talk to you in dertail about this both before and after your surgery.

What is the recovery period for a knee replacement?

Patients are generally in hospital for 3-5 days following a knee replacement.

It is vitally important to regain your range-of-motion (bending and straightening) of your knee in the first 6 weeks following your operation. Physiotherapy can be helpful to achieve this. There are usually continued improvements over the first 12 months with milestones along the way.

Again your surgeon will have a full discussion with you concerning these aspects in the lead-up to your surgery and in follow-up consultations.

When can I drive after my knee replacement surgery?

Our philosophy is that you need to be safe before you can attempt to drive.

Firstly, and most importantly you need to have finished your opioid (strong painkillers) medications before starting to drive.

You need to be able to get into and out of a car independently before you can consider driving.

Importantly you must  be able to depress the brake pedal in an emergency before you can consider driving. The knee that was operated will also determine the speed at which you can return to driving.

Generally driving can’t be resumed much before 4 weeks after surgery.

What is MAKO?

The MAKO surgical platform delivers patient specific 3D planning and robotic-arm assisted surgical execution.

During MAKO a patient will typically undergo a specialised MAKO CT protocol.

The data obtained is then uploaded to the system and the pre-operative planning process begins. 3-D modelling of this data enables accurate planning of the implant size, orientation and overall alignment.

During surgery, real-time patient information is fed back to the system to allow fine tuning of the implants prior to resection.

The MAKO robotic arm then assists the surgeon in performing bone preparation using various specialised end attachments.

The great advantage is that the robotic assisted surgical execution aims to deliver precision, consistency and reproducibility every time.

The MAKO platform is currently available for partial knee replacement surgery.

Am I suitable for a MAKO Unicompartmental Knee Replacement?

Patients with limited osteoarthritis of the knee who do not have any significant deformities may be considered for a UKR.

Dr Lin at OrthoNorth performs this procedure and if you want to discuss your suitability for this procedure please phone for an appointment.

MAKO has certain limitations and you may not be suitable for this procedure if you

  • are significantly overweight
  • have significant global disease in your knee
  • have a significant deformity in your knee (bent, bow legged or knocked knees)
  • have osteoporosis
  • have inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis


Patient first is the guiding principle in every aspect of our practice.