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Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement

Thanks to new technology, total knee replacement surgeries can often be done with minimally invasive techniques which means less time in recovery and less time in pain. When combining minimally invasive surgery with the prescribed Rapid Recovery program, knee replacement candidates are able to return quickly to a more active and enjoyable lifestyle.

A New Approach
Microplasty™ minimally invasive joint replacement, also known as mini-incision joint replacement, is one of the most talked-about procedures in orthopedic advances. Unlike traditional knee replacement surgery which requires an incision between eight and ten inches long, Microplasty™ can be performed through a four-inch incision. The surgeons then perform the operation using instruments specifically created for minimally invasive procedures to move around the soft tissue, rather than cutting through the tissue.

The patient also plays an integral role in the knee replacement process through the Rapid Recovery program. Each knee replacement candidate receives several educational materials detailing a regimen to help them best prepare for all aspects of the procedure, from pre-operative strengthening exercises and nutrition recommendations through pain management and post-operative care and therapy.

As with any surgery, complications may occur. They include infection, blood clots, implant breakage, misalignment, dislocation and premature wear. Although implant surgery is extremely successful in most cases, some patients still experience pain and stiffness. No implant lasts forever, and factors such as the patient’s activities after surgery and weight can affect longevity. It’s important the patient discuss these and other risks with the surgeon.

After surgery, patients are generally hospitalized for two to three days. During this time, pain medication is administered and physical therapy begins. It is important to begin moving the new knee as soon as possible after surgery to promote blood flow, regain motion and facilitate the recovery process. Patients are generally out of bed and walking on crutches or with a walker with assistance from the hospital staff within 24 hours of the surgery.

Before leaving the hospital, the physical therapist will show the patient a variety of exercises to do at home designed to help increase strength and mobility in the knee.

Recovery Time
Through the Rapid Recovery program, minimally invasive knee replacement surgery lasts approximately half as long as recovery from traditional knee replacement. Most people are able to drive after two weeks, garden after three to four weeks and golf after six to eight weeks following the surgery, with approval from the surgeon.

Patients are generally not allowed to participate in high-impact activities or contact sports after this surgery, as these activities place extreme pressure on the knee which could lead to complications.