Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery
Painful, stiff knees are one of the most common – and the most debilitating – side effects of aging and arthritis. While medication, therapy and assistive devices like canes can help some patients, many sustain so much damage and loss of tissue over time that a total knee replacement becomes the best way to restore function and eliminate pain. Since much of the pain and stiffness comes from the damaged cartilage and the knee itself, removing and replacing the eroded joint can restore function and alleviate pain and stiffness.
Common Reasons for Knee Replacement
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, osteoarthritis associated with advanced age is one of the most common reasons patients require a total knee replacement, but other conditions can lead to the need for replacement as well. Other forms of arthritis, including Rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis that occurs after an injury can also lead to a knee replacement. Injury, some malformations of the knee and leg and even illness can cause a patient to get to the point of total knee replacement as well.
What is Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery and the Subvastus Approach?
Once a doctor has determined that the best course of action to relieve your pain and to improve your knee function is a knee replacement, a minimally invasive surgery known as the subvastus approach should be considered. Minimally invasive knee replacement surgery can reduce pain and recovery times considerably. Patients who are a healthy weight and who don’t have severe heart, lung or nerve problems are the best candidates for minimally invasive knee surgery, though every case is different and should be evaluated by a skilled orthopedic surgeon.
In a traditional knee replacement, a surgeon removes the damaged tissue via an 8 to 12 inch incision on the front of the knee. Once the damaged joint has been removed, the replacement knee is put into place. Crafted of metal and plastic, an artificial knee is designed to glide comfortably, eliminate pain and restore function.
Minimally invasive knee surgery (the subvastus approach) follows the same basic procedure and uses the same replacement joint, but there is less muscle damage and an easier recovery for the patient. Physical therapy and rehabilitation is required in similar amounts and for a similar duration in both types of knee replacement surgery.
About Dr. Roger and Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery
A pioneer in the evolving field of minimally invasive joint surgery, Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Douglas Roger has performed thousands of procedures and currently specializes in minimally invasive joint replacement at the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs California. Dr. Roger is at the forefront of his field, seeking out the best ways to repair hips, knees and joints using minimally invasive methods. “Patients have a much shorter stay following these minimally invasive procedures than they used to when more traditional surgical techniques were employed” explains Dr. Roger. The surgeon advises that his minimally invasive procedures cause less damage to the muscle in the surrounding areas, leading to a shorter and less painful recovery.
If knee pain and stiffness is impacting your ability to climb stairs, walk for any length of time or enjoy your favorite activities, Dr. Roger is here for you. Contact the office and set up an appointment to explore your options, and follow our blog for the latest in knee and hip replacement news. You don’t have to be in pain, and you can enjoy a healthy active life again, thanks to the latest innovations in knee repair.
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