Over 20 years ago we started to hear about how arthroscopic surgery had revolutionized knee surgery. Before then, if a patient had torn knee cartilage the surgical procedure required opening the knee, and a recovery period of several weeks or months was expected. Now many, if not most, knee surgeries are performed through small keyhole incisions using an arthroscopic tube. This type of surgery is much less intrusive to the body, and is now the trend in spine and other orthopedic surgeries as well.
Surgical procedures are often referred to as either open or minimally invasive. Open procedures require larger incisions, more anesthesia, longer operating time, hospitalization, and the patient usually needs more time to recuperate. Minimally invasive surgical (MIS) techniques utilize portals or tiny incisions made in the skin through which small, specialized instruments are inserted.
Minimally invasive techniques are designed for:
- Less blood loss
- Lower infection rate
- Less patient pain
- Quicker patient ambulation and return to work
- Less overall costs for appropriately indicated patients
Today many different types of orthopedic surgery can be performed utilizing minimally invasive techniques. Some types of MIS use laser technology. New instruments for use in MIS continue to be developed and refined. Imaging technology also plays a role in MIS development. As surgeons are better able to visualize and guide tools and implants to desired locations, the complexity and learning curve required for MIS surgery will lessen. Minimally invasive techniques also allows for cases to take place in the outpatient ambulatory surgery center setting, keeping medical costs lower and allowing patients to recover comfortably at home or in a rehabilitation facility.
Each case is unique and not all patients are good candidates for MIS; open surgery isn’t going away any time soon. There will always be a role for traditional open approaches, but the role for MIS will continue to expand.
If you are considering orthopedic surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Wes Johnson. He and his team can help you decide what options are best for you.
Read more online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3117522/