Total knee replacement can be carried out in two ways: the traditional approach that involves significant downtime and the newer minimally invasive approach, also known as the quadriceps-sparing method.
Conventional knee replacement generally involves an 8” incision and a stay of 3 to 5 days. It may require an additional stay in a rehabilitation center as well. The recovery period can last for as long as 1 to 3 months, in which you would be required to use a cane or walker.
Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.
What Is Involved In The Quadriceps-Sparing Method?
Quadriceps-sparing total knee replacement is a more recent and minimally invasive technique. It involves inserting the knee replacement implant by making a shorter incision that prevents trauma to the quadriceps muscles. The same proven implants are used in this technique. An incision of roughly 3 – 4” in length is used in this technique, allowing for a quicker recovery time.
You should be able to walk within a few weeks of the surgery using a cane. Quadriceps are among the most important muscles of the legs. By avoiding trauma to this muscle-group, post-operative pain is diminished. There is a reduced need for therapy and rehab as compared to other traditional approaches.
Primary Benefits of the Newer Technique
- Rapid healing
Patients that undergo this procedure are able to regain muscle control and strength in a fairly shorter period of time as compared to patients that underwent the traditional knee replacement procedure. The surgeon doesn’t divide the quadriceps muscles and tendons. The kneecap is not flipped out the way or everted as it is in a traditional replacement procedure.
- Shorter incision
Knee replacement is never performed for cosmetic benefits. But, you cannot negate the benefits of having a smaller incision. The incision length is almost halved in the case of quadriceps-sparing method.
- Decreased pain during recovery
This is a benefit accruing from the smaller incision and the fact that the important quadriceps group is not touched.
- Involves same reliable replacement implants
There have been many advances made in the nearly 4-decade history of contemporary knee replacement techniques. Quadriceps-sparing method is an enhancement on the traditional surgery. It makes use of the same proven implant designs. Except, the surgeon will insert the implants through a smaller incision.
Better Suitability Prospects than a Partial Knee Replacement
Some patients feel that getting a partial knee replacement may be a more reasonable choice. These are also known as unicompartmental (partial) knee replacements and have a proven track record. The technique has been in use for decades. It offers the same exemplary clinical results as that of total knee replacement.
There are several less invasive techniques available for inserting smaller implants. With that said, only about 10% knee replacement patients ever qualify for these procedures. In contrast, a minimally-invasive quadriceps-sparing total knee replacement is considered appropriate for a wide range of knee arthritis patterns.
Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for safe and proven orthopedic surgery procedures.
Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:
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Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada