New Doubts About Popular Joint Surgery

By THOMAS M. BURTON
The Wall Street Journal
Oct. 14, 2008

People with painfully damaged knees and hips have increasingly turned to “minimally invasive” joint-replacement surgery. But these relatively new procedures, though they promise shorter recuperation times, are raising concerns about potential complications.

Many surgeons in recent years have performed joint replacements with ever smaller incisions. In minimally invasive surgery, the incision is typically about three to four inches long, roughly half that of traditional surgery. By cutting less of the surrounding tissue and muscle, proponents of the technique say, patients are able to return to their normal lives more quickly. More…