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Minimally Invasive Surgery

MIS Knee Joint Replacement

Minimally Invasive Surgery
By definition, a minimally invasive procedure is any procedure that is less invasive than open surgery and used for the same purpose. What truly differentiates minimally invasive surgery from open surgery is the use of specialized techniques and instrumentation that enables Dr. Lyman to perform major surgery without a large incision. The minimal incision technique is a specialized technique that is responsible for the reduced scarring and shorter recovery period. Since the incision is smaller, MIS knee joint replacement is inherently less obtrusive, requiring only a three to four inch incision and potentially causing less trauma to surrounding muscles and tendons near the knee joint.

MIS Total Knee Replacement (TKR)
Minimally invasive surgical procedures are advantageous because of its minimal incision technique. Traditional total knee replacement (TKR) requires an incision of eight to twelve inches to expose the front of the knee (patella) and typically causes severance of the muscles and tendons when detaching them from the patella. MIS Total Joint Replacement, on the other hand, is performed through a three to four inch incision using laparoscopic and endoscopic devices. The amount of soft tissue, muscles and tendons that are disrupted during surgery may also be reduced compared to traditional techniques.

MIS Partial Knee Resurfacing (PKR)
Dr. Lyman is one of Phoenix's top knee resurfacing specialists. Partial Knee Resurfacing (PKR) is a minimally invasive procedure for relieving knee pain and disability caused by arthritis. In this procedure only the damaged surface of the knee joint is resurfaced, potentially minimizing trauma to healthy bone and tissue. Because the PKR implants are so much smaller than total knee implants, the surgical incision can be smaller as well lessoning the extent of the surgery.

Potential Advantages
Because MIS results in less operative trauma for the tendons and muscles with the minimally invasive techniques, their reconstruction is often more natural, wound closure is easier, and recovery may be faster. Clinical studies have shown that the midvastus surgical approach, as opposed to subvastus approach, used in the MIS technique results in less pain, at both eight days and six weeks after surgery, and quicker restoration of muscle control and strength. In comparison, it may take several months to recover from the large incision and muscle disruption that accompanies the conventional knee joint replacement surgical approach.

Risks Associated with Minimally Invasive Surgery
The Minimally Invasive Knee Joint Replacement technique is less invasive than conventional TKR, but it is still a major surgery and it takes a little additional time to complete. Also the surgery requires general anesthesia to be administered, rather than regional anesthesia.

As with any major surgical procedure, patients who undergo total joint replacement are at risk for certain complications, the vast majority of which can be successfully avoided or treated. While it is relatively rare, periprosthetic infection remains one of the most challenging complications of joint arthroplasty. As the most serious complication of the surgery, infection of the joint occurs in less than 1% of patients. Other than infection, possible complications include blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, lung congestion, or pneumonia. After surgery risks may include periprosthetic fractures, loss of motion and instability, the risks that are normally encountered in conventional knee joint replacement.

For more information on minimally invasive knee surgery techniques, total knee replacement, partial knee replacement, and knee resurfacing, contact Dr. Lyman's offices in Phoenix at 602.903.1824.

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Last Modified: June 24, 2014