What Are The Advantages Of Minimally Invasive Surgery For Hip Replacement?

Medical technology is constantly evolving for the better. There are better and faster diagnostic equipments, robots to assist in surgery and safer anaesthesia techniques. With these advances in technology, surgery now is a lot lower in risk, shorter recovery time and less discomfort for patients. One of the greatest surgical development is the usage of minimally invasive surgery. In this article, we will be talking about the advantages of minimally invasive surgery for hip replacement.

During a minimally invasive surgery procedure, tiny incisions instead of large openings are made. Due to its extremely small nature, the risk of infections is much lower and recovery time is significantly reduced. Patients will also feel less discomfort compared to traditional surgery procedures with no strings attached. In order to qualify as a minimally invasive surgery, incisions no more than 4 inches can be made.

In traditional open hip replacement surgery, surgeons will have to make a 12 inch incision at the thigh area which cuts through the tendons and muscles in order to reach the hip joint. This will not only cause trauma to the area but also large amounts of blood loss. Not only that, the hip must be dislocated by physical means and this will cause tissue damages to the surrounding tissues as well. Through minimally invasive hip replacement surgery called the MIS 2-Incision Hip Replacement procedure, 2 small incisions are made over at the buttock and groin. This will allow access to the femur and socket with little to none trauma on the tissues and leaving the muscles untouched. Through the tiny incisions, robotic arms will place the prosthetics precisely between muscles, eliminating the chances of misalignment.

Patients can get out of their bed in as little as a few hours post surgery as compared to days when open surgery is performed. This will cut down the hospital stay to an average of 2 days as compared to 4 days, saving the patient hefty medical bills. Patients will also be able to start their physical therapy faster, reducing the recovery time. Most importantly, the patient will feel significantly less pain and discomfort.

Despite the many advantages of minimally invasive hip replacement surgery, it is not meant for everyone. Patients who are obese or have existing bone problems such as osteoporosis are not recommend. Minimally invasive surgery is also a complex procedure and hours of fine tuning in skills is required.

What Are Risks Of Delaying My Hip Replacement Surgery?

Your rights as a patient permit you to decide when to undergo your hip replacement surgery. Your doctor can only provide professional advices from their many years of experience. A high chance is that your surgeon will recommend you to undergo hip replacement as soon as possible in order to reduce pain and prevent aggravating the injury. However, it all depends on you to make the ultimate call as you may have concerns such as your finances, pre-planned overseas trip and many more. So what are some risks of delaying your hip replacement surgery?

Deterioration of joint tissues

The most serious risk when you delay surgery is the possible deterioration of joint tissues as well as further injuries to the hip joint. This is especially so in patients suffering from degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis. As osteoarthritis progress, the diseased joint wears out more. It will ultimately lead to a deformed joint. When the diseased joint is at its infancy stage, hip resurfacing is one of the possible treatment methods. However, a delay of surgery will render this option impossible.

Sedentary lifestyle

Patients who delay surgery may also become sedentary after a certain period and daily simple activities and task will soon become hard to carry out. As pain and discomfort set in, patients will find it difficult to walk around. This will then lead to muscle atrophy.

Revision surgery has its limit

One important thing you need to know is that your implant has a finite lifespan. The wear and tear rate varies among patients due to the different activity levels but most will be able to last for at least a decade. Revision surgery is much more complex than the first surgery as there are lesser bones and tissues to work with. Ageing will also cause a reduction in flexibility in joints. Therefore, the longer you delay your first surgery, the harder it is for you to undergo a revision surgery in future.

One common consensus of many patients arrived at the conclusion: most wish they had performed hip replacement surgery earlier instead of waiting for even a few months. Hip replacement surgery had allowed them to return to pre-injury activity level and provide a better quality of life to them and their loved ones. Deciding on when is the best time to undergo surgery depends on you and your immediate concerns. You need to fully understand the surgery risks and weigh them against whatever concerns you have at the moment before arriving at the best solution yourself.

Knee Dislocation Surgery

Dislocation of the knee or more specifically the patella is a common knee injury that is typically caused by a sudden trauma in the form of a twist or direct hit on the knee, causing the patella to pop out of its usual position in the femoral groove towards the end of the femur. Knee dislocation will be accompanied by a sudden acute pain followed by periods of immobility leading to disability. In order to treat it, open or arthroscopy surgery will be required to repair the damages.

Almost immediately following injury, the extent of injury will be unable to be determined accurately due to the swelling and pain present. Therefore, surgery will not be recommended until a few weeks later. In the mean time, physical therapy will need to be performed in order to strength the thigh and quad muscles to provide a better support and prevent muscle wastage. Once the injured knee is strengthened and swelling has subsided, knee dislocation surgery can then be carried out and there are many types out there:

Bone realignment

In mild cases where the extent of injury is not severe and there is not much damage to the ligaments and tissues, bone realignment may be all that is needed. The tibial tubercle which is at the shin bone will simple have to be shifted and this will cause the position to be pulled towards the inner part of the knee.

Lateral Release

Lateral release is a common type of knee surgery performed to stabilise the patellar. When the knee is dislocated, it pulls the knee cap to the outside of the knee. Lateral release surgery seeks to cut the retinaculum in order to centre the knee cap back into the grooves.

Reefing

Reefing or medical imbrications is a surgical procedure performed with the intention to tighten the soft tissues that are located towards the inner portion of the knee. It is often done in conjunction with Lateral Release with the latter loosening the exterior part while the former tightening the interior part.

Trocheleoplasty

Trocheleoplasty is a less common surgery which works by deepening the grooves on the femur for the patellar. This will require the removal of some bone and increasing the depth of the grooves in which the patellar can then be held firmly in place with the aid of biodegradable stitches which will be reabsorbed into the body after a period of time.

Patellar dislocations can still happen after surgery but this is less than 5% of all cases. Patients are usually able to return to pre-injury level of activities after a couple of months if a disciplined recovery plan is followed religiously.

Recovering From Total Joint Replacement

Immediately after your total joint replacement surgery, you will be moved into a recovery room to be monitored for a couple of hours. After the anaesthesia has worn off and you are awake, you will then be moved to your ward where you will stay for the next few days. A typical stay in the hospital will be between 3 to 5 days depending on your progress. Before the effects of the anaesthesia have fully worn off, you should consume pain killers to prevent a sudden onset of unbearable pain. So how do you recover from total joint replacement surgery?

Physical therapy

Muscle atrophy is the result of depriving muscles activities, leading to muscle wastage. This can happen after a couple of days post surgery, leading to shrinking of muscles and muscular apoptosis. In order to prevent this, physical therapy will be required. Physical therapy helps to strengthen the hip joints through various small but effective exercises. It usually begins almost immediately after surgery in order to prevent scar tissues from forming. A physical therapist will be there to teach you some basic exercises to help you regain strength and full hip movement in the shortest time. It continues even when you have been discharged, and you will be required to show up for your physical therapy classes up to 4 times a week.

Understand possible medical complications

Hip replacement surgery has a low risk and infections are at a low rate of 2%. However, this does not mean that you are completely clear of any complications. Blood clots in the leg veins can occur due to prolonged immobility, leading to serious consequences if they travel up to the heart or brain. Therefore, some surgeons will recommend the usage of compressive stockings.

Do not be complacent

As time passes, the hip will be stronger and the usage of walking aids such as crutches or walkers will no longer be required. Some patients will tend to get complacent and start to skip physical therapy sessions or ignore symptoms which may indicate infection. Therefore, always be mindful of your responsibilities as a patient and continue your physical therapy sessions until your therapist has given you the all clear.

Your new hip will be able to last you for at least a decade and provide you with freedom you never imagined. However, you still need to know that it is an artificial joint inside you and materials can fail due to various reasons and a second surgery may be required in future.

Causes and Symptoms of Ankle Fractures in Children

Ankle fractures are common injuries in Children. This is largely attributed to the lack of fully developed strong bones in them and the increased intensity of activities in their daily lifestyle. Ankle fractures occur when there is a break in one of the ankle bones namely the tibia, fibula or talus. Ankle fractures in children usually involve either both the tibia and fibula instead of the talus due to the involvement of growth plates responsible for the regulation of bone growth. Immediate medical attention should be sought as delayed treatment will have a long term irreversible impact on the growth and shape of the adult bone.

Causes

Twisting

Children usually fracture their ankles during intense activities such as basketball, soccer or volleyball. Twisting occurs unexpectedly and no one can predict the exact action that will occur. Twisting can happen while jumping and landing awkwardly or a sudden direction change.

Growth plates

The outside long bones do not growth from the centre. It actually grows from the ends of the bones and when a child becomes an adult, these growth plates will harden up into a bone on its own. Since growth plates are the last few bones in the body to fully form, they are weaker in mechanical strength and are at a higher risk of fracture. As a result, twisting that occurs from the scenarios mentioned above will usually lead to growth plate fractures.

Missing a step

Fractures resulting from missing a step on the stairs are common injuries especially in children due to their lack of ability to react instantly. The sudden jerking action will lead to a resultant twist which will cause a broken bone to happen.

Symptoms

Bruising and swelling

Bruising and swelling are the most common and almost immediate symptom of an ankle fracture. This is due to the body’s defense system rushing all the blood to the affected area to fight any infections, leading to an increase in fluid amount.

Pain

The ankle will be extremely painful and tender to touch. Bearing weight on the injured ankle will be an almost impossible task and slight movements will result in a sharp pain.

Bone fragments poking out

The most obvious symptom would be the sight of a bone fragment pushing against the skin. This is extremely dangerous and immediate medical attention is required in order to push back the bone to its proper place through surgery.

Ankle fractures in children are common injuries in children and can lead to serious long term complications on the bone development in them. Medical attention should be sought and self medication should not be attempted.

What Are The Advantages Of Minimally Invasive Surgery For Knee Replacement?

Knee replacement is a surgery that is commonly performed with the intention to replace a knee joint damaged due to degenerative diseases. More than half a million people undergo this surgery yearly and this number is set to increase. As its name suggests, minimally invasive surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the usage of small incisions between 3 to 5 inches to carry out the surgery. Unlike its open surgery counterpart, the knee does not need to be cut open and stitched back post operation. This leads to a faster recovery time, shorter hospitalization and also better looking aesthetically. In this article, we will look at some of the advantages of minimally invasive surgery for knee replacement.

Medically, there are no significant differences between a traditional surgery and a minimally invasive surgery. Smaller incisions between 3 to 5 inches are made instead of 8 to 10 inches incisions with traditional methods. In traditional surgery, the quadriceps muscles as well as the tendons at the front of the knee and thigh are cut. In minimally invasive surgery, these two are spared and left untouched. Instead, 3 small incisions are made near the patella in order to insert a camera and robotic arms.

The main aim of minimally invasive surgery is to minimise trauma to the tissue by conventional surgery, leading to less pain, less unwanted injuries, less infections, shorter recovery time and lower cost for the patients. Patients typically require only half the time now to get rid of a walker and use a walking cane to move around. Most importantly, minimally invasive surgery has a higher success rate due to the usage of small robotic arms to aid the surgery. The surgeon is able to view high definition magnified images of the knee throughout the surgery. This will enhance the accuracy as well as ensure a higher success rate.

There are many advantages of minimally invasive knee replacement surgery compared to its traditional counterpart. However, minimally invasive surgery is not for everyone. Patients who suffer from knee deformity are better suited to the traditional type and repeat patients who had knee replacement surgery before will also require traditional surgery. Also, some artificial knee components may not be able to fit through the small incisions. Other than that, higher success rates, lesser pain and lesser trauma are the few strong unique selling points of minimally invasive knee replacement surgery.

How Do I Know If I Need Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacement surgery is not something that everyone needs. However due to certain medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, hip replacement surgery may be the only way to get back a good quality of life. The choice is still ultimately up to you on whether to undergo hip replacement surgery or to take pain relief medication to tide you through. Let’s discuss on how you know if you really need surgery.

Unbearable pain and stiff hips

When pain gets unbearable and hips are always stiff, simple actions such as climbing the stairs, walking and even standing can be extremely difficult. Pain relief medication can only help you to overcome pain for certain duration and cannot be used forever. Therefore, when your osteoarthritis is this bad, hip replacement surgery is the only option available for you in order to get back a good quality life.

Bone damages

Due to osteoarthritis, bones are damaged and the bones are unable to regenerate and grow again. The joint cartilages are also disintegrated and no form of medication or physical therapy can help to repair it. When damages to the bone happen, hip replacement surgery will be required to repair it.

Alternative treatments failed

Surgery will usually be the last option that your surgeon will consider. Usually, he will prescribe you pain relief medication followed by physical therapy in order to help you regain flexibility in your joints and strengthen the surrounding muscles. However when all these treatments fail, surgery will be the only option left.

Conditions with no known cure

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the joint mistakenly instead of protecting it. The body does not recognise it as its own and treats it as something foreign and will continuously attack it until it is no longer there. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis yet and patients who suffer from it must undergo hip replacement surgery in order to recover.

Above are 4 common scenarios where a hip replacement surgery needs to be considered. There are many factors that must be considered prior to surgery such as the age of the patient, overall health condition and bone density. Attempts to try alternatives to surgery such as medication and physical therapy will be made before suggesting surgery. Hip replacement surgery is a major and costly procedure and careful thought must be made before a final decision is made.

How Do I Know If I Need Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement is considered a major surgery and there are many factors to consider first before making a decision. It is a question that cannot be answered easily. Rather, it requires you and your orthopaedic surgeon to sit down and ponder through all the possible options available to you before deciding on it. What exactly is knee replacement surgery? How do you know if you require knee replacement surgery?

Oral medications do not work

Your doctor will usually prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen Sodium to help make the pain more bearable and reduce inflammation. However, these drugs are only able to help counteract the pain to a certain extent and they do not treat your knee condition. You should not be consuming drugs for the rest of your life as they might harm your body. After a certain time span and it has no effect, surgery will be required.

Physical therapy has little effect

Oral medication will often be accompanied by physical therapy sessions. Physical therapy helps to build up the muscles around the knee, strengthening them so that they can better support your knee. It also helps to make the knee joint much more flexible and restore joint mobility. However, when this still does not help, surgery will be required.

Daily activities are limited

When simple daily activities are severely limited due to knee pain, surgery may be the only option left. You do not want your quality of life to be affected by your knee and there is always the option of knee replacement surgery. Some patients may not even be able to sleep as the pain will keep them up throughout the night. For others, simple actions such as walking may also be a chore.

You wish to engage in competitive sports

This is the most common reason for total knee replacement surgery. Athletes who wish to continue engaging in competitive sports will definitely require surgery to replace the damaged joints with artificial biomaterials in order to regain near full strength and mobility.

There are many reasons for one to undergo knee replacement surgery. Knee replacement surgery is a major surgery and requires one to consider many factors before deciding on it. It does not come cheap and for most patients, physical therapy and medication will usually suffice. If you are seeking a return to sports, knee surgery may be the only viable option for you.

Hand Fracture and Aftercare Instructions

In our hand are 5 bones which connect the wrist to the thumbs and fingers. These are the metacarpal bones and they are located between the phalanges and carpus bones. When one of these bones breaks, it is classified as a hand fracture and a splint or cast is often required to be worn whilst the bones heal on their own. For serious cases, surgery may be required to surgically reconnect and mend them using cement. In this article, we will be looking at the causes of fracture as well as the aftercare instructions for them.

Although our bones have good compressive strength, it has poor tensile strength. When sufficient force is applied, the bone can fracture and when this occurs, it is accompanied by pain, swelling and the inability to utilise it. A cast or splint will usually be placed in order to immobilise the hand as well as to prevent any unwanted stresses while it heals. In order to make the pain more bearable, your doctor will prescribe pain relief medication to be taken orally. Since this medication requires some time before it works, you should take it before the previous one wears off in order to prevent feeling any unwanted pain. In cases where inflammation is present, antibiotics will need to be consumed in order to treat the infection caused by bacteria. Always make sure that medication is taken on time to prevent any gaps in the recovery process.

When you are at home, you can apply an ice pack to the fractured portion of your hand. Icing helps to decrease inflammation and the pain associated with it. It also constricts the blood vessels and help to speed up the delivery of essential nutrients required for healing. It also reduces tissue damages to the sensitive parts. However, always remember to remove your cast or splint prior to the application of ice as the cast and splint cannot get wet. In order to regain finger movement in the shortest time, you should try to work out your fingers. A hand grip is great for building up hand strength and muscle and you can use it anywhere.

Hand fractures will usually require between 4 to 6 weeks for it to fully heal, but it will take an even longer time for you to regain full strength. In order to reduce this timeframe, you should make use of any possible time to gain those muscles.

Treatment and Prevention of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is a painful medical condition due to overuse of the tendons in the elbow. Contrary to its name, tennis elbow does not happen to people who are active in playing tennis. Pain is usually felt in the muscles that are attached to the piece of bone that is bumped up at the elbow region. The intensity of pain depends on the severity of the injury and it can be treated using pain relievers for minor cases to surgery for major ones. What are some treatment methods and ways to prevent tennis elbow?

As mentioned above, tennis elbow is an overuse injury that can be caused by various reasons such as sports, gardening and even simple tasks such as lifting a plastic bag filled with groceries. This pain is caused by wear and tear of the common extensor tendon, leading to inflammation and swelling.

The most important treatment that can be administered is rest. Careful attempts to reduce repetitive motions in order to prevent further aggravation of the tendon are crucial and this can be kept in check by using an elbow brace. An effective elbow brace will wrap snugly around the forearm below the elbow and prevent unwanted movements that can hinder recovery efforts. Another type of common treatment method is the oral consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. NSAIDs help to reduce inflammation and bring down selling, but they do not heal the injury. They simply make the injury feel much more bearable to the patient. Applying a nice cold ice pack at home or in the office can also help to bring down the inflammation and reduce swelling. Cold packs will constrict the blood vessels and reduce blood flow, resulting in lesser movements in the elbow region. To tackle the problem at its roots, you can choose either to perform physical therapy or undergo surgery. Physical therapy will help to strengthen the muscles and soft tissues around the elbow to help better support your injured elbow. It takes place under the supervision of a trained physical therapist that will provide quality advices. For serious cases, surgery is often required to stitch up the injured tendon and snip off the loose parts which are causing irritation to the nearby tissues.

The best prevention tips for tennis elbow are strengthening exercises and reducing chances of overusing the elbow. Stretching and strengthening the muscles will ensure that you have the physical strength to perform out activities without increasing the chances of injuries. Do not overuse your elbow joint by constantly alternating your hands when you are performing strenuous activities and if they are to be done for a long period of time, use an elbow brace.