Over the past few years, there have been great advances in the treatment options, implants, and minimally invasive techniques to hip and knee replacement. These techniques offer fewer complications, fewer infections, greater satisfaction, and shorter recovery times. And advanced technology, such as 3D preoperative planning, allows surgeons to make patient-specific templates and determine what implant and position is best suited for each, individual patient. This level of personalization results in overwhelmingly positive outcomes that succeed patient expectations.
Advanced technique in partial knee replacement: Uni-compartmental approach
Total knee replacement should not be used unless it is the only option. In a total knee replacement, all of the cartilage and the underlying bone is removed from the knee joint regardless of whether it is diseased or not. Today, thanks to advanced techniques and technology, surgeons can provide the same, if not better outcomes, with a uni-compartmental approach that replaces only the parts of a patient’s knee that need it. It is a minimally invasive surgery with a smaller incision where only the damaged bone and cartilage are removed, all the ligaments and tendons, along with their muscles are left in place.
IF the need for total knee replacement is necessary, then the kinematic alignment approach should be used. This approach allows the surgeon to resurface arthritic or damaged knees through a technique that replicate the knee’s natural pre-disease alignment and orientation. The insertional technique utilizes special instruments that position the knee in the most natural position, thus eliminating the need for ligament releases. The procedure allows the knee to move through the range of motion the way nature meant and most importantly, patients who have had this after conventional knee replacement say it feels more like a normal knee and less artificial.
Advanced technique in total hip replacement: Direct anterior approach
The direct anterior approach to total hip replacement is a minimally invasive surgery to replace the hip joint without cutting through any muscles or tendons. Traditional hip replacement involves cutting major muscles to access the hip joint. Normally, after a traditional hip replacement, your surgeon would give you instructions on hip precautions to allow the cut muscles to heal. However, for anterior hip replacement patients, hip precautions are not necessary as no muscles are cut.
Advantages of both approaches:
- Shorter operative time
- Fewer complications, such as minimal blood loss
- Less risk, therefore considered safer
- Quicker recovery and return to normal activities
- Less damage to major muscles
- Preservation of ligaments, tendons and muscles
- Smaller incision, therefore minimal scarring
- Movement of the joint remains more normal
- Less post-operative restrictions