Minimally invasive techniques for hip and knee arthroplasty have been gaining popularity in recent years. Despite the apparent widespread enthusiasm for these procedures, there is little published evidence demonstrating superior quality of life outcomes directly attributable to the surgical technique. The current debate regarding the value of minimally invasive surgery extends beyond the demonstrated or potential clinical benefits of these procedures. Economic considerations of patients, surgeons, hospitals, and payers are prominent factors in this debate and will continue to influence the adoption of minimally invasive surgical procedures. Developing an understanding of the barriers posed by our healthcare delivery system to minimally invasive surgical procedures and how these barriers impact each of the stakeholders in the healthcare system will foster a rational deployment of these promising new approaches to hip and knee arthroplasty in the future.

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