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Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement (cont.)

Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement Risks

Every surgery has risks. Minimally invasive surgery is still associated with complications, such as the following:

  • Improper placement of the components
  • Nerve injury
  • Fractures during the procedure
  • Blood loss
  • Blood clots after surgery
  • Infection after surgery

In addition, minimally invasive procedures may take longer to perform. A person who has had any type of knee replacement surgery needs to follow certain precautions to adjust to a lifestyle with a prosthetic device. Unrealistic expectations, a lack of information and preparation, and a failure to become an active and intelligent participant in the surgical procedure can lead to disappointment after any surgery. Different people react differently to the same procedure, depending on their body weight, associated medical conditions, family support, cultural background, mental health, and other unpredictable factors.

Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement Results

Minimally invasive knee replacement surgery is a new procedure. Short-term results are promising. Surgeons are gaining more experience with these new techniques. If the knee implants are placed properly, the new knee should last through several decades of reasonable use, as long as precautions and activity recommendations given by the surgeon are followed.

Minimally invasive knee replacements may allow earlier discharge from the hospital, less pain, and a faster return to day-to-day activities. Less physical therapy is usually needed after discharge. However, there are specific complications for any new procedure. The experience of the surgeon is also a factor. Surgeon selection and patient education are very important when it comes to new surgical techniques.

When to Seek Medical Care after Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement

In general, knee replacement surgery should be sought only for debilitating pain that does not improve with pain medications, exercise, weight loss, and reasonable activity modification. Knee replacement, regardless of the surgical technique, is a major operation for a worn-out joint that can no longer carry the person. Knee replacement surgery involves lifestyle changes and an artificial joint.

Optional surgery, such as a knee replacement, should be avoided until other treatment options have failed.

Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery


"Overview of surgical therapy of knee and hip osteoarthritis"

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/7/2016
Medical Author:

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