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Minimally invasive vs regular

pamsknees

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I was speaking with someone who had minimally invasive knee replacement who said recovery was 2 weeks instead of 12 weeks. His surgeon takes no insurance so he paid out of pocket & was reimbursed half by his insurance. Has anyone here had experience with the minimally invasive? 2 week recovery sounds really good
 

Celle

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A 2-week recovery is impossible. Minimally invasive or not, complete recovery from a knee replacement is going to take a full year, although you will be able to do most things by about 3 months.

Some of the "minimally invasive" surgeries may appear to give a faster recovery in the first few weeks, as sometimes there is less disturbance to the soft tissues. However, this initial fast improvement almost always slows down and the total recovery time is usually not shortened.

After all, how can you expect to recover as fast as two weeks from a surgery where (even if "minimally invasive") your skin is cut open, your soft tissues are pulled aside, your kneecap is turned over, the ends of two large bones are sawed and shaped, then two large metal parts are pushed into those bones. Then your knee compartments are sewn up again, your kneecap is turned back the right way, your soft tissues are put back in place, and several layers of fat and skin are sewn back together.

All of that causes more trauma than breaking a bone. Would you expect to recover from a broken bone in just two weeks?

Incidentally, "minimally invasive" does give a false impression of what actually happens. No matter that the incision is slightly smaller or a slightly different approach is used, all those things I mentioned still have to happen and the incision has to be large enough to allow for the insertion of two large metal parts and the use of instruments to place them accurately. It isn't keyhole surgery at all.

Now, you may be one of the lucky ones whose recovery goes smoothly and who has a recovery that seems to progress a little faster, but I think it's more realistic to go into surgery expecting recovery to be a long haul, but worth it in the end.
 
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pamsknees

pamsknees

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Thanks Celle! That makes a lot of sense. I’m trying to get every bit of info I can in order to make the best decisions I can & be prepared
 

mainegirl1

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His surgeon takes no insurance?? And he paid half out of pocket and his insurance reimbursed the other half..

My cynic meter goes up. A TKR is around $40 grand if no insurance is involved. That and the two week recovery .. nuff said.

Minimally invasive is sometimes sold as a marketing tool .. less scarring. Mine is some seven inches long and invisible. It was not minimally invasive. Now my neighbor is having MIS shoulder surgery and was told that the recovery was still six months.

My gut was to poke around the neighborhood and talk to TKR people and then interview the surgeon they most seemed happy with. The anaesthesia he used the approach he used the appliance he used I left in his hands. He had tremendous years of experience and had a very realistic and gentle approach to rehab.
 
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pamsknees

pamsknees

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@mainegirl1 - I have taken a similar approach - chose a surgeon that everyone I’ve spoken to raves about. My appt is in Nov. I work in a medical field so I tend to gather all info I can to make decisions. This was someone who flew from KS to Chicago for the surgery & paid out of pocket.,,.. not my plan but asking questions & getting info :)
 

Jamie

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"Recovery" means different things to different people. As Celle noted in her post, it is not possible for every part that was impacted by this major surgery to be totally healed in 2 weeks. In fact, if you want to know exactly how the healing process works, take a look at our tab at the top of the page on Wound Care.

Good job getting lots of information to base your decision on, though. That's the proper way to do things.
 

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