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Minimally Invasive Surgery


For several decades, total joint reconstruction ("arthroplasty") has successfully returned millions of patients to active and fulfilling lifestyles. Joint replacement surgery is often necessary to alleviate painful arthritis symptoms or damage to a joint caused by a traumatic event, such as a sport injury. While the surgery provides many benefits, drawbacks of total joint replacement often involve the surgery itself – pain from the incision and subsequent blood loss, as well as disturbing delicate muscle tissues and tendons.

Minimally invasive advances in joint replacement surgery provides numerous improvements to orthopaedic procedures, and have become heavily favored in lieu of traditional open joint surgery. Potential benefits include shorter recovery time, less blood loss and reduced scarring and stiffness.

Dr Harwin performs a number of different types of minimally invasive procedures for the hip and knee, including custom-fit knee replacement and anterior approaches for hip replacement. Dr. Harwin has 30 years of clinical experience, making him one of the most experienced and distinguished surgeons in New York City and has a national and international reputation for excellence.

minimally invasive orthopedic surgery: new york city

Surgery is suggested only when conservative methods of treatment fail to properly alleviate pain. Conservative methods include corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, or a regiment of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Here you can learn more about minimally invasive surgical procedures Dr. Harwin performs regularly at the Mount Sinai Beth Israel. He is the founder and director of The Center for Reconstructive Joint Surgery in Manhattan.

Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery

Traditional total knee replace ment surgery has been performed since the 1960s, with few advancement in surgical approaches coming until the popularization of minimally invasive surgical techniques in the 1980s. Minimally invasive surgical techniques benefit the patient by making surgery less daunting and more effective. Because of the smaller incision made on the knee joint, minimally invasive surgery’s potential benefits include reduced scarring and stiffness, less blood loss, shorter hospital stay, as well as reduced post-operative recovery time and improved patient outcomes.

Examples of other minimally invasive knee surgeries include:

  • Partial knee resurfacing - operating only on the affected knee compartment and leaving the healthy natural knee in place
  • Arthroscopy of the knee - use of fiber optics and computer imaging to give the surgeon a view of the joint from inside

At the Center for Reconstructive Joint Surgery, Dr. Harwin focuses on the treatment of arthritis through hip and knee replacement. To treat sports injuries, Dr. Harwin will refer the patient to his associate, a sports medicine and arthroscopy specialist to properly evaluate and treat the injury.

Sports injuries benefit from from minimally invasive surgery

Minimally Invasive Hip Surgery

Traditional total hip replacement involves removing the affected portions of the hip, including cartilage and bone, and placing a prosthetic joint made of metal, plastic or ceramic in its place to restore the natural function of the hip joint and alleviate pain.

Hip replacement surgeries have been performed in the US since the 1960s, and newer minimally invasive techniques have improved the patient's level of comfort during the recovery period and beyond. Much like minimally invasive knee replacement, benefits of minimally invasive hip surgeries include smaller incision, less blood loss, shorter post-operative recovery period and reduced scarring and stiffness as well as improved patient outcomes.

Direct Anterior Approach and Direct Antero-Lateral Approach to Hip Replacement

Direct anterior approach (DAA) and the direct antero-lateral approach (DALA) for hip surgery has potential benefits for some patients in need of a new hip joint. Benefits of the direct anterior approach include a smaller incision, less scarring, and less post-operative pain due to the reduced disturbance of the joint and connecting tissues.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery

All minimally invasive surgical techniques afford the same benefits. Potential benefits include:

  • Smaller incision
  • Less blood loss
  • Less damage to normal surrounding tissues, muscles and tendons
  • Less scarring and stiffness
  • Reduced recovery time
  • Improved patient outcomes

Because of these benefits over traditional surgery, minimally invasive approaches are used when Dr. Harwin feels surgical intervention is necessary.

New York City's Orthopaedic Expert in Minimally Invasive Surgery

Dr. Harwin is a board-certified orthopaedic expert performing hundreds of minimally invasive hip and knee procedures every year. Dr. Harwin has over 30 years of clinical and research experience, and has been named “Best Doctor in America,” “Top Surgeon in America”, “Best Doctor in New York” and has won numerous other accolades.

Find out how to make an appointment at Dr. Harwin's offices in Manhattan and the Bronx.

By Dr. Steven Harwin