Total knee replacement is a common procedure undertaken to correct damaged or worn surfaces of the knee. Replacing the worn surface with an implant reduces pain and increases mobility, allowing you to return to your normal, active lifestyle.
The traditional approach to knee replacement involves making a long, vertical incision in the center of the knee to enable the surgeon to view and access the joint.
Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement Procedure
Minimally invasive knee replacement is performed using a shorter incision: 4 to 6 inches versus 8 to 10 inches for traditional knee replacement. The smaller incision allows for less tissue disturbance. In this procedure the technique used to open the knee is less invasive.
The techniques used in minimally-invasive knee replacement are generally considered to be “quadriceps sparing,” meaning they avoid trauma to the quadriceps tendon and muscles in the front of the thigh. Because the techniques used to expose the joint involve less disruption to the muscle, they often lead to less post-operative pain and a faster recovery time.
Candidates for Minimally-Invasive Knee Replacement Procedure
In general, candidates for minimal incision procedures are thinner, younger, healthier and motivated to participate in the rehabilitation process. Minimally invasive surgeries may be less suitable for patients who are overweight or who have undergone previous knee surgeries.
Here are some factors to consider:
Joint replacement surgery should not be a first step, but when knee pain affects your daily activities and slows you down, joint replacement may be a solution to help you regain your active lifestyle.