More than one million Americans – the majority of whom are 50 or older – choose to undergo joint replacement (or arthroplasty) each year. Arthroplasty restores the integrity of your joints and improves function using an artificial joint, or prosthesis.
However, if the prospect of enduring traditional surgery to replace a hip or knee fills you with dread, you’ll be relieved to know there is an excellent alternative: minimally invasive joint replacement.
Although traditional surgery is still a popular option among many patients, minimally invasive techniques are rapidly becoming the norm for those looking for a faster and less painful recovery.
What Makes Surgery Minimally Invasive?
With traditional (fully invasive) joint replacement surgery, orthopedic surgeons make large incisions that cut through muscles, tendons, and ligaments as a means of reaching and replacing the affected joints. That results in more bleeding, more post-operative pain that needs to be managed, more vulnerability to infection, a longer scar, and a longer recovery period before the patient regains a full range of motion.
In fact, most of the pain and dysfunction after traditional joint replacement surgery is due to these large incisions, not due to the manipulation and replacement of the bones themselves. As a result, patients need to stay in the hospital for several days and then take several weeks off from work to recuperate.
With minimally invasive joint replacement surgery, orthopedic surgeons make smaller incisions, minimize muscular detachment, and cut through less tissue during the procedure. As a result, there is much less overall trauma to the body, and the recovery period is significantly shorter.
Also, physical therapy is easier after minimally invasive surgery, because it usually doesn’t involve rehabilitating organs that have been severed.
Does Minimally Invasive Surgery Work as Well as Regular Surgery?
A major advantage of minimally invasive joint replacement is that it can be performed on an outpatient basis. Your surgery can be performed early in the morning, and you can conceivably be back home that very afternoon.
Plus, in the case of knee and hip replacement surgery, you could be walking with a cane immediately following the surgery. This means you can recover more quickly than with traditional invasive surgery.
Minimally invasive joint replacement surgery represents a dramatic improvement in surgical techniques. Higher-quality materials from which implants are made have led to a growing number of patients achieving optimum outcomes after hip and knee replacements – and with a reduced rate of post-surgical infection or other complications.
Combined with physical therapy, minimally invasive joint replacement surgery alleviates the stiffness and pain associated with severe arthritis, and it allows for more complete range of motion – thereby enabling your body to operate naturally again.
Types of Successful Surgical Procedures
At the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs, we utilize the most advanced surgical methods available today – including minimally invasive procedures whenever possible. Some of the joint replacement surgeries and procedures we perform at our medical clinic include:
- Total hip replacement/arthroplasty
- Minimally invasive hip replacement
- Anterior hip replacement
- Hip resurfacing
- Total knee replacement/arthroplasty
- Minimally invasive knee replacement
- Partial knee replacement
- Knee revision/osteotomy
- Ankle replacement
- Total shoulder replacement
- Reverse shoulder replacement
- Shoulder revision surgery
- Elbow replacement
Who Can Help with My Joint Pain?
If you’ve sustained an injury or have a degenerative condition that requires joint replacement, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons will diagnose the condition, explain your treatment options, and implement the procedure you and your surgeon decide upon.