What is Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) is a general term used to describe a surgical procedure that is performed through a much smaller incision than is traditional or conventional for that operation.
What is MIS Joint Replacement?
A minimally invasive joint replacement is a knee or hip replacement that is done through an incision that is much smaller than has traditionally been used.
While MIS is a relatively new development for joint replacement, MIS techniques have been in use for many years in other areas of medicine including cardiac and gall bladder surgery. Advances in techniques and instruments have now made it possible to perform hip and knee replacements through incisions three to five inches long instead of the more traditional eight to 12 inches. This can mean less trauma to muscles, ligaments and tendons, and a quicker, less painful recovery.
What are the advantages of MIS Joint Replacement?
The potential advantages include:
- Less blood loss
- Less trauma to soft tissues
- Less pain
- Shorter hospital stay (1-2 days rather than 3-4 days)
- Quicker return to work and activities
Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement
With conventional knee replacement, an incision eight to 10 inches long is usually required. In performing the operation, the surgeon typically divides the quadriceps muscle and tendon in order to gain access to the knee joint. (The quadriceps is the muscle group that runs across the front of the thigh.) With minimally invasive knee replacement the incision can be as small as three to four inches, and the knee joint is accessed with much less trauma to the quadriceps muscle and tendon. Because of this, less pain and a quicker recovery are possible. With this quad-sparing approach, the same time-tested knee implants that are utilized in traditional knee replacement can be used.
Partial Knee Resurfacing (also called Partial Knee Replacement or Unicondylar Knee Replacement) can also be performed using MIS techniques.
What are the risks of MIS Joint Replacement?
While minimally invasive joint replacement is less invasive than conventional joint replacement, it is a major surgery; and significant complications, though rare, can occur. Blood clots are the most common complication after surgery. Your orthopedic surgeon may prescribe one or more measures such as blood thinners and special support hose to help prevent clots from forming in your leg. You may also receive antibiotics to help prevent infection. Other complications include implant loosening, fractures, and nerve or blood vessel damage. Your surgeon will be taking great care to reduce the risk of these and other complications.
Who is a candidate for MIS Joint Replacement?
MIS Joint Replacement is neither appropriate nor possible for every patient who has been diagnosed as needing joint replacement. Each patient is evaluated individually, so you will need to consult with your surgeon for the treatment options that are best for you. In general, candidates for minimally invasive joint replacement are of normal weight, in good health and have not had that joint previously replaced.
How can I learn more?
You can reserve a space at one of our upcoming knee and hip pain seminars. Call the INTEGRIS HealthLine at (405) 951-2277 today for more information.