, Volume 471, Issue 7, pp 2245-2252
Date: 15 Feb 2013

Skin Crease ‘Bikini’ Incision for Anterior Approach Total Hip Arthroplasty: Surgical Technique and Preliminary Results

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The direct anterior approach for THA allows implantation through an internervous plane without muscle detachment from bone. However, the classic longitudinal skin incision does not follow the anatomic skin creases and can result in scar widening. We therefore modified our incision technique to a short oblique skin incision following the anatomic skin crease of the groin.


We sought to determine whether (1) the oblique incision leads to improved scar results compared with the longitudinal incision, (2) functional and pain scores are similar between the two approaches, and (3) the new incision is safe with respect to complications, blood loss, implant position, and lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN) symptoms.


Fifty-nine patients underwent THAs using either the classic (n = 33) or the new oblique incision (n = 26). At 6 months after surgery, we compared objective and subjective scar results, WOMAC, Oxford Hip and UCLA scores, blood loss, cup inclination, and the presence of LFCN symptoms between both groups.


Objectively, the modified incision resulted in significantly shorter and narrower scars. Subjectively, patients in the modified incision group were substantially more satisfied with the aesthetic appearance. Functional and pain scores were similar. No complications occurred in either group. Blood loss and cup inclination did not differ between the two groups. There were no differences in LFCN symptoms.


In this series, which selected for thinner patients in the study group, the ‘bikini’ incision for an anterior approach THA led to improved scar cosmesis and was found to be safe in terms of blood loss, appropriate component placement, and risk for LFCN injury.

Level of Evidence

Level III, retrospective comparative study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Each author certifies that he or she, or a member of his or her immediate family, has no funding or commercial associations (eg, consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.
All ICMJE Conflict of Interest Forms for authors and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research editors and board members are on file with the publication and can be viewed on request.
Each author certifies that his or her institution approved the human protocol for this investigation, that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research, and that informed consent for participation in the study was obtained.
This work was performed at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland.