Total knee replacement is a surgical procedure for the replacement of a knee joint affected by arthritis. Usually this procedure is adopted only in the cases where other methods like reduction of weight, exercising and medication have not yielded any result. Total knee replacement procedure has been found to be a very successful surgical procedure with more than 95% success rate for the next 10 years from the date of surgery. In America 6, 76, 000 persons are undergoing this surgery every year where as the number of such surgeries in the U.K is 60,000. Statistics of total knee replacement surgeries in India are not available now. They are being taken and will be ready shortly.
Traditional open surgery total knee replacement: There are two methods available for total knee replacement. One is the traditional way of open surgery in which an incision of around 8 inches length is made. Hospital stay for traditional surgery will be around 3 to 5 days. A recovery period of one month to three months is required for complete recovery during which the patient can walk with the help of a walker or a cane.
Minimally invasive total knee replacement: This is a new technique in which a minimal incision of around 4 inches length only is required to be made and the most important quadriceps muscles are spared from the trauma of the surgery. The recovery time in this surgery is very less. The patients are required to walk with the help of a cane or walker for a period of one or two weeks only. This new approach reduces the recovery and the rehabilitation period.
Benefits of minimal invasive surgery:
Quicker relief: By undergoing surgery with this procedure, the patient will be able to use his knee more quickly than in traditional surgery. In this procedure the quadriceps muscle and tendons are not involved. So recovery is faster than in the traditional open surgery.
Small incision: Whereas the incision for a total knee replacement surgery in the traditional manner is about 8 inches long, in the minimal invasive surgery it is only 4 inches long. This makes the pain, the healing period and the blood loss lesser.
Reliability: Even though this is a relatively newer technique the easiness and reliability of this procedure has made it more common and surgeons as well as patients prefer it in terms of convenience and efficiency.