Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement
Minimally invasive surgical techniques allow knee replacement procedures to be performed with less damage to the surrounding tissues, potentially providing several benefits to patients. Contact Dr. Kruse to learn more »
Over half of a million people undergo a total knee replacement procedure each year, and whenever possible, minimally invasive techniques are pursued. Compared to a traditional operation, this approach allows for the use of smaller incisions, enabling faster patient recovery times and minimized scarring. Based on the type and severity of damage present, Dr. Kruse will determine the best approach for knee replacement, helping patients achieve the most optimal results possible.
Causes and Symptoms
Knee pain and subsequent disability are often associated with the breakdown of cartilage and bone, which results in increased friction and pressure within the joint mechanism. This damage can stem from arthritic inflammation, a specific injury event, or general wear-and-tear. Factors that influence the likelihood of developing such knee damage include: genetics, age, obesity, and the prevalence of high-impact activities (i.e. running or court-based sports).
Disintegration of the knee joint is often progressive in nature, as symptoms grow more frequent and severe over time. Common symptoms of advanced knee damage include:
- Radiating pain
- Inability to fully extend or bend the joint
- Difficulty walking, climbing stairs, or standing from a seated position
If knee pain and lost function inhibit the ability to complete basic, everyday activities, orthopedic care may be necessary for successful recovery.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
In determining the best approach for joint replacement, Dr. Kruse will complete a comprehensive examination of both overarching patient health and the specific knee damage present. In addition to the completion of basic strength and flexibility tests, a symptom history will be taken to document the course of injury progression. An X-ray, MRI, CT scan, or other diagnostic test may also be used to identify all of the aspects of joint damage for orthopedic correction and care.
Upon the initial diagnosis, nonsurgical treatment methods will likely be prescribed to reduce the severity of any symptoms present. These efforts may include:
- Anti-inflammatory and pain medications
- Steroid injections
- Orthotics (bracing) or use of supports
- Behavior modification
- Exercise and/or weight management programs
Depending on the level of relief achieved, Dr. Kruse will recommend the appropriate surgical approach for further knee correction. If joint replacement is required, minimally invasive methods will be employed whenever possible.
During a minimally invasive procedure (either partial, or total in nature), a 4-6 inch incision will be utilized, rather than one of 8-10 inches in length. Through this incision, damaged bone and cartilage will be removed, and subsequently, replaced with the prosthetic components. Commonly reported benefits of this approach to replacement include:
- Reduced blood loss
- Shorter hospital stay and/or recovery time
- Minimized scarring
- Better motion (post-operation)
Post-Op Recovery and Rehabilitation
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with minimally invasive knee replacement. During the recovery period, it is important that Dr. Kruse’s prescribed approach for rehabilitation be followed precisely. Likewise, if any symptoms of concern arise, they should be reported to the orthopedic team immediately.
Following a minimally invasive joint replacement, prescription medications will likely be recommended for use in combination with basic at-home exercises and formal physical therapy. Regular checkups will be completed with Dr. Kruse, who will advise the patient as to a gradual and safe return to both everyday and recreational activities.
Expertise in Minimally Invasive Surgery: Dr. Jay Kruse
Dr. Kruse specializes in the completion of both partial and total knee replacements, and is trained in the most up-to-date procedural technologies. To learn more about care options, schedule an appointment with either his Coon Rapids, MN, or Fridley, MN office at 763.786.9543.