Suffering from intractable knee pain due to arthritis? If you dread the large incisions and long recovery times associated with traditional knee replacement procedures, the minimally invasive approach could be the good news you’ve been waiting to hear.
The information we’ve provided below will help you better understand the minimally invasive approach to knee replacement surgery, notably its benefits and whether it is right for you.
Minimally Invasive Vs. Traditional Knee Replacement
Minimally invasive knee replacements have the same goal as those performed using the traditional approach. The key difference apparently lies in the length of incisions as well as the surgical instruments involved in each of the techniques.
With minimally invasive knee replacements, orthopedic surgeons create 4- to 6-inch incisions— in contrast to the 8- to 10-inch incisions made with traditional knee replacements—and utilize miniature surgical instruments to prepare the femur and tibia and properly place the prosthetic components. Minimally invasive knee replacements are also occasionally done using image guidance to ensure optimal precision.
Minimally invasive knee replacements are gaining significant traction for a number of good reasons, as stated below:
- Smaller incisions mean less damage to the skin and surrounding soft tissues (ligaments, muscles, and tendons)
- Lower risk of postoperative complications (e.g., blood loss and infection)
- Less postoperative pain translates into reduced reliance on pain medications
- Shortened recovery time and quicker return to normal activities
Studies suggest that the long-term benefits of minimally invasive surgery are no different from those done using the traditional approach. It is also worth noting that like traditional knee replacement procedures, the success of minimally invasive arthroplasties greatly hinges on the clinical acumen and skills of a well-trained and highly experienced orthopedic surgeon.
Who Is Eligible for Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement Surgery?
Despite the remarkable benefits of minimally invasive knee replacements, not everyone is qualified for the procedure. You may only be eligible for it if you meet the following criteria:
- The main determinant is patient health. All patients are potentially eligible, and a healthy 75 year old may be a better candidate than an unhealthy 62-year-old. Albeit expert opinions vary, being “younger” generally means being under 65 years of age.
- Your weight is proportional to your height: you’re not too obese or overly muscular.
- You don’t have knee sepsis, ongoing knee infection, and vascular and bone disease (osteoporosis).
- You have been on an extensive course of conservative intervention but without success.
- You haven’t had other major knee surgeries. If you have had arthroscopic surgery in the past this is not a deterrent.
- You are not suffering from any kind of medical condition that may cause slow wound healing.
To determine your eligibility for a minimally invasive knee replacement surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will first carry out a comprehensive evaluation to ascertain that you meet the criteria specified above.
Minimally Knee Replacement Surgery in Merriam, KS
If you’re looking for a reliable knee replacement surgeon within the Merriam area in Kansas, visit us here at Midwest Orthopaedics. We have board-certified joint replacement surgeons on our team who are experts in both the traditional and minimally invasive techniques, and who have helped countless patients across Kansas break free from the pain and movement limitations brought on by severe arthritis.
To talk to one of our orthopedic surgeons about minimally invasive knee replacement surgery, call us at (913) 362-8317. You may also fill out our secure online form, and we will get in touch with you promptly to confirm your appointment.