Saturday, July 19, 2008

1. How Intuition Led to the Less Invasive TKR

A few months ago I had a total knee replacement (TKR) by the “less invasive surgery”. The “less invasive” procedure is a break-through trend in different areas of surgery, beside joint replacement. It brings substantial advantages: shorter surgery (anesthesia) time, less pain and less painful recovery. This blog documents my unusual journey toward this procedure, preventive measures, surgery and the post-surgery rehabilitation.* It would please me, if my experience served prospective TKR patients in their decisions.

In two years of seeing my orthopedic surgeon, I had tried injections in the knees, the painkiller “Aleve” , coral calcium and other joint strengthening supplements–without success. The last resource, SURGERY, was looming large over me. I scheduled a date, a month and a half away. As I was being "processed" for the surgery, I started feeling like moving on a conveyor belt toward a narrow and inescapable opening–the operating table. At once I felt depression enveloping me like a thick fog, I became extremely sensitive, tears coming on without provocation. My friend suggested seeking a second opinion. As soon as I started searching for an orthopedist, my depression lifted; I was my normal self again. The second opinion was unequivocally “total knee replacement”. I was to go on with my scheduled surgery date with my primary surgeon. Then a primordial fear seized me, as if my body panicked, its very survival endangered. My surgeon was most reassuring.

I sought an advice from an
acquaintance radiologist. He recommended less invasive TKR.

The less invasive TKR employs special tools and techniques, which enable a surgeon to access the knee joint with fewer cuts into the surrounding muscle tissue, thus affecting a shorter operating (under an hour) faster mobility and an "easier" recovery time.

Even though I had a two year interaction, and a very good rapport with my primary orthopedist, I canceled my surgery there and made an appointment to see a less invasive TKR practitioner.

*Physical therapy is covered in the video part of my "New, totally revised TKR" blog after my second TKR.


Matilde said...

Thank you for posting your story. I am sure if will be very helpful to those contemplating knee replacement surgery. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Drue said...

Congrats on starting this up. Many will benefit from hearing your story and your personal experience with TKR. Keep up the great work.

Drue said...

the conveyor belt is a very interesting mental image

Vlasta said...


The conveyor belt image embodies the feeling of powerlessness and of the impersonal in the processing machine of any institution. And how my depression lifted, as soon as I took action - speaks what was wrong "in that picture" for me. Good observation, Drue. Thank you.

Minimally Invasive Hip said...

I think the less invasive techniques have a better chance of success than the conventional procedures. Hope it went well.