Hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the hip joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant. Hip replacement surgery can be performed as a total replacement or a hemi (half) replacement. Such joint replacement orthopaedic surgery generally is conducted to relieve arthritis pain or fix severe physical joint damage as part of hip fracture treatment. A total hip replacement (total hip arthroplasty) consists of replacing both the acetabulum and the femoral head while hemiarthroplasty generally only replaces the femoral head. Hip replacement is currently the most common orthopaedic operation, though patient satisfaction short and long term varies widely.
Avoiding the hip dislocation during a hip replacement surgery is accomplished by preparing the femoral bone first. In situ femoral preparation refers to reaming, broaching and implanting the femoral component without cutting the femoral neck and without dislocating the hip joint. Since the femoral head remains in the socket, the hip joint helps stabilize the leg during the femoral preparation. Because the femoral neck remains intact during the femoral preparation, the femur is stronger and less likely to fracture.
Interestingly, every orthopedic surgeon has at one time or another implanted a femoral IM nail into the femoral shaft without cutting the femoral neck or dislocating the hip joint. This in-situ femoral preparation just utilizes the same skill set every orthopedic surgeon already has for trauma cases (broken bones) and applies it to joint replacement cases.
The SuperPATH approach is a combination of the Superior approach championed by Stephen Murphy in Boston and the PATH approach (percutaneous assisted total hip) championed by Brad Penenberg in Los Angeles. I did my joint replacement fellowship with Dr. Murphy and became very comfortable with this technique. Dr. Murphy has multiple publications on the supercap topic.