Quadriceps Sparing Knee Replacements can speed recovery for knee replacement surgery

By Stephen J. Zabinski, MD

History of Knee Replacement:
Knee replacement is a surgical procedure–performed in the US since the 1960s – in which a diseased or damaged joint is replaced with an artificial joint called a prosthesis.  Made of metal alloys and high-grade plastics the prosthesis is designed to move just like a healthy human joint.  Over the years, knee replacement techniques and instrumentation have undergone countless improvements.  Today, greater than 90 percent of patients undergoing knee replacement have a complication free result which relieves pain and restores mobility.

Traditional Knee Replacement:
The skin incision is made straight down the front of the patient’s leg.  The internal cut which allows for exposure of the inner part of the knee to be replaced, also is in line with the skin incision cutting through the quadriceps tendon taking the quadriceps muscle off the knee cap (patella) bone.

How Quadriceps Sparing Total Knee Replacement is Performed:
External Difference – The skin incision (cutting) is similar but slightly smaller.
Internal Incision Difference – The internal (arthrotomy) deeper incision first comes alongside the knee cap tendon.  At the level where the quadriceps muscle and tendon are connected to the knee cap the incision stops.  The deeper incision then comes off the side under the quadriceps muscle.  The quadriceps muscle is then moved and slid over the bone.  By sliding this muscle tendon unit over the bone, exposure to the deeper structure of the knee that will be replaced with metal and plastic prosthesis is enabled.

Surgical Technique Difference – allows for a replacement of the diseased and damaged joint without cutting the most important muscle in regard to strength for a patient’s knee.

Superiority of Quadriceps Sparing Total Knee Replacement:

Because the muscle and tendon remain intact throughout the surgical procedure a patient may experience:

· Better strength immediately after surgery, patients are able to get up and walk the same day.

· Faster Recovery – Many patients go from a walker to a cane in two to four days and often are off the cane in two to three weeks

· Stronger – Patients can perform functional tasks such as going up and down stairs and getting out of a chair with greater ease because muscle is intact.

To schedule a one-on-one consultation with a physician to find out more about the Quadriceps Sparing Knee Replacement, call Shore Orthopaedic University Associates at 927-1991, see www.shoreorthodocs.com or ShoreOrthoDocs YouTube to view the procedure.

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