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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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My doctor has offered me a new operation for total knee replacement. It's done with just a small opening, so I'll have a much smaller scar than usual. Is there any other reason to have this method?

Doctors in favor of the minimally invasive surgery (MIS) say there's less blood loss and shorter hospital stays. Some early studies also suggest patients use less pain medication and get better faster. They regain joint motion and muscle strength faster.

Patients who've had MIS report improved sense of satisfaction after this type of surgery compared to the more traditional, open incision approach. The rates of infection and problems with the wound are less with MIS. All of these benefits translate into money saved, too.

There are some possible problems to consider. Doctors must use special instruments made smaller to fit in the small opening. Sometimes the shape of the patient's knee just doesn't allow for easy access and a larger incision must be made. The more operations a doctor does, the better his or her skills become in this procedure. It may be best to find someone who has done quite a few of these operations.


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