Minimally Invasive Surgery
What is MIS?
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 replace- ment 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 six-to-eight 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-to-2 days rather than 3-to-4 days)
Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement
With conventional knee replacement, an incision six-to-eight 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.
Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement
s with minimally invasive knee replacement, minimally invasive hip replacement results in much less trauma to the soft tissues. With the minimally invasive technique, the surgeon makes one small incision of about three to four inches, or two smaller incisions. This compares with an incision of eight-to-12 inches in conventional hip replacement surgery.
Smaller incisions mean much less trauma to the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the hip area and result in potentially less pain and a quicker recovery. The implants being used for minimally invasive hip replacement are the same as those used for traditional hip replacement.
It is essential that you follow the instructions of your surgeon and physical therapist regarding home care during the first few weeks after surgery. Your physical therapist will instruct you in walking and rehab exercises starting the day after your surgery.
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.