The Difference Between Major and Minor Joint Replacement Surgeries

Major joint replacement surgeries constitute surgical processes where the entire joint is replaced with a metal and plastic implant. These two replacement parts are intended to simulate the natural joint. This is considered major surgery because it is something which must be completed using open surgery, something which is much more severe compared to minor alternatives and something which takes a significantly longer amount of time from which to recover. canstockphoto13092914

This major surgery is something reserved for worst-case scenarios, something which you should not use until you have exhausted all other nonoperative options. The purpose of this major surgery is to restore functionality and allow you to live independently after you have dealt with arthritis enough that nonsurgical treatment options have done nothing to rectify the pain. This process is one which typically entails a stay of multiple days in the hospital.

You will be held in the hospital not only for the long surgical process but for the extended recovery time. You will be monitored for up to three days assuming there are no complications in your procedure. After this it can take three months for you to recover fully as well as a significant amount of time spent working with a licensed physical therapist to help restore functionality, strength, and motion in the joint which was replaced.

Minor surgery constitutes anything which can be performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning anything which does not require you to stay under observation for more than one day in the hospital. Minor surgeries are performed with arthroscopic tools. It is not possible to perform a joint replacement through a scope, so none of those are considered minor. An arthroscopic procedure is one where the Gilbert orthopedic surgeon makes a small incision in the affected area through which they insert a long tube attached to which is a small camera. This camera sends live feed of the inside of your joints directly to the operating room monitors so that the surgeon cannot only locate the damaged area, but rectify it on the spot.

Knee ArthroscopyWhen repairs are made on the spot, the Chandler orthopedic surgeon makes a secondary incision through which small surgical tools are inserted. These tools in conjunction with the small camera are used to repair the damage to your joint. This type of procedure is considered minor because you do not have to stay under observation overnight. Instead you can simply check into the hospital and have a surgical procedure finished within two hours and check out.

The main difference between these two processes is whether or not you’re affected area has to be cut open entirely and how long you have to stay overnight. In some circumstances what starts as a minor surgery can turn into a major surgery if there are complications in the middle of the process. This can happen if the East Valley orthopedic surgeon uses arthroscopic measures to examine the affected area and during this examination uncovers unanticipated complications for more severe injuries and were thought to exist. When this happens you may be required to stay overnight after the surgery has been completed or you may be required to return after your initial incision has healed so that you can have a comprehensive full and major surgery.

OSPI is the top orthopedic practice in the East Valley, serving patients from Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Mesa, Maricopa, Casa Grande and surrounding areas. Most insurance is accepted, call OSPI today at 480-899-4333!