Patients Regain Joint Health in Less Time with Advanced Orthopaedic Surgical Techniques
Advancements in minimally invasive hip arthroplasty and partial knee arthroplasty, currently available at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, provide patients with hip and knee options for alleviating their pain and improving their functionality quicker and than traditional, more invasive methods.
Patients recommended for a hip replacement might assume that a three- to four-day stay in the hospital, followed by six to eight weeks of physical therapy and the temporary use of an assistive device for non-weight bearing, are required. However, this need not be the case.
Orthopaedic surgeon Jason Lang, MD, uses an anterior approach to hip arthroplasty while the patient lies on a HANATM (hip and knee arthroplasty) table. Unlike other hip replacement methods, an anterior approach does not destabilize the pelvic muscles around the greater trochanter, allowing for a rapid return to normal gait along with decreased pain, rehabilitation time, and blood loss during surgery.
Using live action fluoroscopy, Lang has immediate feedback during the procedure to pinpoint placement and sizing. “This allows me to leave the operating room confident about the accuracy and outcome of each surgery,” Lang said. The pelvic musculature stays intact, enabling patients to leave the hospital in about two days and return to their normal activities after two weeks of physical therapy. Furthermore, patients experience less pain during recovery and do not have any post-op mobility restrictions.
Lang also prefers a minimally invasive approach to performing knee arthroplasties using MAKOplastyTM. He along with orthopaedic surgeon, Gary Poehling, MD, find that many knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients enjoy great success with MAKOplasty. During this procedure, the surgeon removes only the diseased portion(s) of the OA-affected knee with the assistance of a computer navigated robotic arm.
Since August 2009, over 500 patients have been treated at Wake Forest Baptist using this procedure. They are able to walk as soon as the analgesic wears off and return to their normal activities after two weeks, unlike total knee replacements that can take six months of recovery.
MAKOplasty is becoming a more common approach to treating knee OA as the aging population expects to remain active longer. However, patients range in age from 28 to 97 years old, proving that it is never too early or late to overcome knee pain. Patients tend to prefer this surgery because minimal dissection results in less pain and, thus, the need for little or no pain medication. It is considered an outpatient procedure, although some recipients stay in the hospital overnight for optimal recovery, and the long-term results are showing more pain-free years ostensibly due to the accuracy of alignment during the procedure. Additionally, Jinnah says he prefers this innovative technology for treating knee OA because “it allows the surgeon to do the procedure perfectly every time.”
MAKOplasty, designed for the resurfacing of medial, lateral or patellofemoral compartments, is ideal for treating patients whose disease is not advanced enough for total joint replacement but who are seeking to regain their active lifestyle.
Wake Forest Baptist’s Joint Replacement Program earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for providing the highest quality of care to patients with degenerative joint disease.