Total Knee Replacement
Recent studies have shown that the results of total knee replacement are far better than had ever been anticipated. Active patients may continue stressful activities such as tennis, skiing and even competitive cycling. This information has led to the development of total knee devices designed for long-term high performance.
Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement
Minimally invasive total knee replacement is a technique that offers both functional and cosmetic benefits to those patients undergoing knee replacement surgery. By dividing tissues along a single muscle plane, it is possible to reduce the skin incision from the usual 12 to 18 inches down to 6 to 9 inches. The traditional approach involved cutting and subsequently repairing a major muscle-tendon unit called the quadriceps. This muscle and tendon is responsible for lifting the leg and straightening the knee. By keeping this structure intact, the minimally invasive technique maintains function such that most patients can progress in therapy much more quickly and with less pain and weakness.
Cartilage is the natural shock absorber and cushion between the bone surfaces in a joint. If cartilage is damaged by trauma or inflammation, or wears down as in osteoarthritis, significant pain and disability may be caused by the rubbing of the underlying raw bone on bone. This x-ray shows a knee in which the cartilage has worn away on the inner aspect of the joint. This patient was a candidate for a mini incision unicompartmental replacement. The x-ray in the middle shows the procedure. Only the damaged worn portion of the knee has been replaced. The healthy parts have been preserved. The advantages of this procedure include:
- Shorter hospital stay
- Shorter recovery and rehabilitation
- Smaller incision than traditional total replacement (4" as opposed to 8" to 12")
- Less bone removal providing for more options in the future
The x-ray on the far right shows a total knee replacement in which all the cartilage surfaces have been replaced because the patient was not a candidate for uni procedure.