The hip joint is one of the most surgically exposed joints in the body. The indications for surgical exposure are numerous ranging from simple procedures such as arthrotomy for joint drainage in infection to complex procedures like revised total hip replacement. Tissue dissections based on sound knowledge of anatomic orientations is essential for best surgical outcomes. In this review, the anatomical basis for the various approaches to the hip is presented. Systematic review of the literature was done by using PubMed, Cochrane, Embase, OVID, and Google databases. Out of the initial 150 articles selected from the the review and selection criteria, only 37 that suited the study were eventually used. Selected articles included case reports, clinical trials, review and research reports. Each of these approaches has various modifications that seek to correct certain difficulties or problems encountered with previous descriptions. An ideal approach for a procedure should be safe and provide satisfactory exposure of the joint. It should avoid bone and soft tissue damage as well as avoid unnecessary devascularization. Among the factors that determine the choice of surgical approach to the hip are the indication for the procedure; the influence of previous surgical incisions as well as the personal preferences and training of the operating surgeon.
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