I'm getting ready to have a hip replacement. The doctor is going to use the "posterior" approach. I've been told this method allows the doctor to see almost half of the joint at one time. There is a risk of hip dislocation. How common are these dislocations?

Studies show about a four percent chance of dislocation after a posterior approach hip replacement. This means four out of every 100 patients who have this operation end up with a hip dislocation.

A recent report from Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts shows doctors how to reduce this to 0.4 percent. They used a special method of cutting and reattaching the joint capsule. They believe this method will increase the elasticity of the hip during the healing phase.

Using this new approach brings the risk of hip dislocation down equal to hip replacement using the anterior (front) or lateral (side).