For many patients, minimally invasive hip replacement or knee replacement may be an option. Because surgeons use advanced, streamlined instruments and materials during minimally invasive joint replacement, the common benefits of this approach are numerous:
- Smaller incision: Up to half the size of the incision used during traditional joint replacement
- Faster recovery: Typically only five to six weeks
- Shorter hospital stay
- Less blood loss
- Less damage to the important muscles and tissues around the joint
As with traditional joint replacement surgery, the goal with the minimally invasive approach is to speed recovery and help patients return to their normal, productive lives as soon as possible.
Minimally invasive joint replacement is not appropriate for all joint replacement patients; patients should talk to their surgeon about the best surgical approach for their joint replacement.
Successful candidates for minimally invasive joint replacement are:
- A healthy weight
- In good health
- Younger than traditional joint replacement patients
- Dedicated to work at their recovery
Obese patients or those who have had hip or knee surgery before are often not good candidates for the minimally invasive approach. Again, patients should talk with their surgeon about what type of procedure will work best for them.