The body has a number of joints that facilitate mobility and make the body flexible enough to carry out various tasks. However, the joint or parts of the joint may get damaged beyond repair. This may be caused by a disease or just an injury. When this happens, the doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to replace the damaged joint parts with artificial ones. A joint replacement surgical procedure is aimed at relieving pain and restoring the normal functioning of the affected joint. Depending on which joint is affected and the level of damage, the surgeon may use different surgical approaches to replace the joint. Mentioned here are some of the approaches that may be used to replace damaged joint parts.
Computer-assisted Surgery (CAS)
Over the past years, there has been an increased reliance on computer-assisted methods by doctors while carrying out PKR and TKR procedures. In this procedure, the doctor enters the anatomical data of the patient into the computer, a process known as registration. The computer then generates a more precise 3-D image of the affected joint. The model helps the doctor align the various components of the joint appropriately. Additionally, this technology allows the surgeon to successfully carry out the procedure with smaller incisions, which reduces the recovery time significantly.
Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)
This surgery approach reduces the surgical incisions by three to four inches. This in turn reduces blood loss, pain, and trauma to the neighboring tissues during the procedure. Additionally, the procedure speeds up recovery. With this surgical approach, the surgeon will cut less muscle. This not only reduces the time of recovery but also increases the range of movement of the joint after recovery. Although the implants used in this approach are similar to those used in a traditional surgery, the techniques used are slightly modified. The approach also uses specialized tools, which allows for minimal incisions to be made during the surgery. The minimal invasive surgical procedure uses various techniques, including lateral approach and quadriceps-sparing approaches.
While using the traditional surgical approach, the surgeon will make an incision of eight to 12 inches. He will then use the standard surgical technique to operate in the joint. In most cases, the incision is made along the front side, towards the middle of the joint (a cut known as anteromedial). In other cases, the cut may be made along the front side of the joint, but towards the side (this cut is referred to as anterolateral). During this procedure, the doctor will make the incision and then clear the overlying tissues, including muscles and tendons, to expose the damaged tissue. After the procedure, the patient will be required to remain in the hospital for three to five days to recover. On average, you should expect a full recovery within 12 weeks, after a traditional surgical approach.
After diagnosis, your physician will determine the best surgical procedure from the above-mentioned joint replacement options. As such, you should talk to your surgeon to determine the best-suited approach for your case.