Joint replacement surgery is a procedure in which the damaged or worn out articulating parts of the joint are removed and replaced with artificial prostheses. The goal of the surgery is to relieve pain and restore the normal functioning of the joint and help you resume normal activities.
Joint replacement surgery is mostly employed to treat symptoms of arthritis, a condition in which the articular cartilage that covers the joint surface is damaged or worn out causing significant pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joint.
Advantages of minimally invasive joint replacement are:
- Less tissue trauma - muscles and tendons are avoided or separated, not cut
- Faster and less painful rehabilitation
- Smaller incisions and less scarring - two incisions of 1½ to 2 inches each, rather than one 10- to 12-inch incision
- Shorter hospital stays - 1-2 days (vs. 3-5 days); some patients go home in less than 24 hours
- Reduced blood loss and less need for pre-surgery blood donation
- Faster return to work and daily activities