The word “surgery” can be intimidating to a lot of people. The thought of sharp objects coming near your skin, a long and painful recovery, and scary complications can be frightening.
Minimally invasive surgery is an excellent way to get surgery safely and efficiently. With less pain, shorter recovery periods, and safer procedures, minimally invasive surgery has become increasingly popular.
What Is Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Brought forward in the early 1900s as a new surgical technique that aims towards meeting the patients’ surgical needs more effectively and safely, minimally invasive surgery is a kind of surgical procedure that aims towards less pain, a shorter period of recovery, and less complications.
In orthopedics, it means that instead of making a large open wound to expose the whole joint, the surgeon can make small incisions directed towards the affected part, resulting in reduced risks during surgery, a shorter recovery, and less pain.
Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:
- Smaller, fewer incisions
- Less pain
- Shorter hospital stay
- Quicker recovery
- Less complications
- Less blood loss
- Less scarring
3 Common Minimally Invasive Surgery Procedures
The following are some of the most common minimally invasive surgeries carried out at Bowen Hefley Orthopedics.
1. Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement – Arthroplasty
Being the largest and most complex joint in the body, as well as the easiest joint to be injured, the knee is the most common joint to get joint replacement surgery.
While for some patients, the symptoms and signs of knee injury can be tolerable with medication and lifestyle modification, for many others, knee replacement is the only available treatment to ease pain, regain full joint function, and improve quality of life.
Knee arthroplasty and traditional knee replacement surgery both share the same concept of removing the damaged portion of the joint and replacing it with prosthetics (artificial implants). However, unlike traditional knee replacement, knee arthroplasty is done through a smaller incision (3 to 6 inches), resulting in less post-operative pain, less blood loss, a shorter hospital stay, and a smaller scar.
2. Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement – Arthroplasty
The hip joint is one of the most frequently replaced joints, mostly in response to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that happens due to the wear-and-tear of the joint cartilage.
Minimally invasive hip arthroplasty is an alternative for traditional open hip replacement. Even though they share the same aim of replacing the damaged joint with implants, minimally invasive hip arthroplasty is done through smaller incisions. A single 3 to 6 inches long incision is made on the outside of the hip, or alternatively a 2 to 3 inches incision is made over the groin area and another one of 1 to 2 inches is made over the buttock, through which the hip joint is replaced with a prosthetic. These smaller incisions allow for less pain, less blood loss, and a faster recovery.
3. Shoulder Arthroscopy
The shoulder is one of the most versatile joints of the body. It can perform many different movements in many different directions. However, this is exactly what makes it high risk for injuries.
Shoulder arthroscopy is the procedure of introducing a small camera, called an arthroscope, into the shoulder joint in order to help the diagnosis and treatment of the problem.
Arthroscopy is the most commonly carried out orthopedic surgery. It evolved from being a mere diagnostic tool, to be used for treatment of several injuries, including damaged tissue removal and ligaments reconstruction to help with joint stability.
Several small incisions of about ¼ to ½ of an inch are made and filled with saline (sterile salt-water), then an arthroscope is introduced into the joint in order for the surgeon to have a better view of the joint components. Additional similar incisions may be made during the procedure to help with the use of other needed surgical instruments.
These small incisions have the benefit of less scarring, less pain, and less risk for infection.
Minimally Invasive Surgery Procedures in Little Rock, AR
If you want to know more about minimally invasive surgery procedures, visit us at Bowen Hefley Orthopedics. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. William Hefley, is here to respond to all your concerns. You can contact us at (800) 336-2412 to arrange a meeting with our team, or you can request an appointment using our online form. We look forward to serving you!