Minimally invasive surgery is a technique being adopted in many areas of surgery especially in orthopedics. It uses small incisions to access an injured area, where micro surgical instruments and cameras are used to avoid cutting open the whole area, as with traditional surgery. Sometimes the procedure can be done under local anesthetic which greatly reduces the risk of the surgery. Orthopedics uses minimally invasive surgery on the spine, the shoulder and elbow, the hip, the knee, the foot and ankle and they also use computer navigation, using tiny cameras attached to their instruments. Extremely delicate procedures can be done without causing undue damage to the surrounding nerve and vascular tissue. Spinal surgeries done this way often have the patient up and about in a few days, with very little post-surgical pain.
Minimally invasive surgery is used by orthopedic surgeons to remove debris from spinal and knee and elbow joints, without disturbing the surrounding tissue. Recovery from this kind of surgery is sped up and the post-surgical pain is also far less. This surgery is now quite common and can prevent the need for a knee replacement or it can prevent a spinal disc from becoming herniated.
Due to fast healing and recovery after minimally invasive surgery, hospitals can handle a larger volume of patients per year and there is now less waiting period for orthopedic surgeries in public hospitals. There is far less scarring also after minimally invasive surgeries and the small incisions are usually healed up after a few days and many do not even need stitches.
Minimally invasive surgery is now taught at medical colleges and most surgeons opt to use it above traditional surgical procedures. This is certainly the way surgery is going and in the future all surgery may be done using minimally invasive techniques.