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Minimally invasive surgery is a popular term that patients look for when learning more about an operation they may need. After all, people are often anxious about hip and knee surgeries and want the least intimidating surgery. Dr. Vigdorchik uses minimally invasive techniques for qualifying patients to help maximize surgical outcomes. Depending on your specific case, minimally invasive surgery may be the right option for you – giving you peace of mind, reduced scarring, and a faster recovery.

What is “Minimally Invasive Surgery”

Minimally invasive surgery is a category of procedures that work to minimize trauma to the body. During these procedures, the surgeon creates smaller incisions, uses smaller tools, and often uses robots or smart-tools. This differs from open surgery, which is a more traditional method that requires the surgeon to open the area fully to visualize the joint. The goal is to do the procedure more gently, more carefully without cutting muscles, without damaging soft tissues, and thus speeding the recovery.

All surgeries are associated with a period of recovery and other short-term effects. Minimally invasive surgery is designed to help alleviate discomfort and shorten recovery times so that patients can stay more comfortable. This type of procedure does not sacrifice outcomes, though. Minimally invasive procedures are highly successful and often safer than the open surgery equivalent.

Muscle Sparing Minimally Invasive Surgery

In addition to a smoother recovery, many patients are interested in minimally invasive surgery because it is known to be “muscle sparing.”

Muscle sparing is a benefit of minimally invasive surgery. Since the surgeon will be using smaller incisions and tools, the tissue surrounding the joint will be less damaged. More specifically, major muscles will be less impacted by the procedure, which cuts down on recovery time and complications.

However, it is essential to understand the meaning of “muscle sparing.” Some patients believe that this benefit of minimally invasive surgery means that no muscle groups will be affected. This is untrue, as some muscle will need to be moved out of the way as a part of minimally invasive hip and knee replacements.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive surgeries have several benefits that patients enjoy. Most often, minimally invasive procedures produce less scarring. For individuals who worry about a long scar going down their knee or hip, the smaller incision sites will create much less noticeable scars in the long run.

This type of procedure is also associated with less bleeding. Decreased blood loss decreases the risk of postoperative complications and recovery time. Additionally, minimally invasive procedures cause less trauma to the surgical site in general. Not only does this minimize bleeding, but it also decreases damage to soft tissue, nerves, and major muscles.

Since muscle sparing is another benefit of minimally invasive procedures, many patients can walk shortly after their surgery. While physical therapy is a necessary part of the recovery process, patients who have undergone minimally invasive surgeries often have an easier time regaining their muscle strength and movement.

Minimally invasive hip and knee replacements are associated with shorter hospital stays, which decreases the risk of infection and other complications. Not to mention that many patients prefer to recover in the comfort of their own home.

Since there is less trauma to the area surrounding the joint, patients generally experience less pain throughout recovery with minimally invasive procedures. Less postoperative nerve and tissue pain result in reduced use of narcotics to manage the pain. With the current opioid crisis, this is important to protect the patient.

Who is a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Surgery

While many patients are interested in minimally invasive hip and knee replacements, not everyone is a candidate. Before determining if you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Vigdorchik will review your case, lifestyle, and concerns. However, even if you are not a candidate for a true minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Vigdorchik will still implement many of these techniques during your operation to help speed recovery and lessen pain!

In general, minimally invasive surgery is a good option for individuals who are in good physical shape. These individuals tend to be more motivated to move through the accelerated rehabilitation process.

Individuals undergoing any surgery will need some assistance afterward. However, those undergoing minimally invasive surgeries are often able to go home the same day as their procedure. As such, candidates need to have social and familial support to help them after their surgery. In general, people who have undergone minimally invasive hip and knee replacements will need help around the house for about one to two weeks.

Another major factor in determining if a patient is a candidate for minimally invasive surgery is their overall health status. Those who have significant medical problems like diabetes or high blood pressure may not qualify for this procedure. If the condition is well-managed, however, the patient may still be a candidate for a minimally invasive surgery. Well-managed conditions, like diabetes, may not immediately disqualify a patient.

Recovering from Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive procedures are associated with smaller incisions, less trauma to the area, and reduced pain. As such, recovering from a minimally invasive hip or knee replacement is often considered easier.

For example, the recovery period for minimally invasive hip replacements is around four weeks. This is preferable to the average of 8 weeks it takes to recover from a traditional hip replacement.

Physical therapy is a key part of recovering from a minimally invasive surgery. This is to help regain strength in the joint as well as to preserve range of motion. Without physical therapy, the patient may experience stiffness, pain, and complications from their procedure. In addition to building strength, physical therapy can also help patients learn how to optimize their movement with their newly replaced joint.

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Dr. Vigdorchik is one of the top NYC hip and knee surgeons experienced in performing minimally invasive hip and knee surgery. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Vigdorchik to get the highest quality care for your hip and knee conditions or injuries. Contact us now.