Over the past 25 years, minimally invasive surgery has revolutionized many fields of medicine. Its key characteristic is the use of specialized techniques and instrumentation that enable the physician to perform major surgery without a large incision. In this respect, MIS Knee Joint Replacement is indeed “minimally invasive,” requiring only a small incision and potentially causing less trauma to the soft tissues.
Unlike conventional TKR, which requires a large incision (8 to 12 inches) and significant disruption of the muscles and tendons, MIS Knee Joint Replacement is performed through a 3 to 4 inch incision. The amount of soft tissue (muscles and tendons, etc.) that is disrupted during surgery may also be reduced compared to conventional techniques.
Partial Knee Resurfacing (PKR) is a minimally invasive procedure for relieving arthritic knee pain and disability. With PKR, only the damaged surface of the knee joint is resurfaced, potentially minimizing trauma to healthy bone and tissue. PKR implants were developed with patient needs in mind. Because the PKR implants are so much smaller than total knee implants, the surgical incision can be smaller as well.
Because fewer muscles and tendons are disturbed with the minimally invasive techniques, their reconstruction is often more natural, wound closure is easier, and recovery may be faster.1 Clinical studies have shown that the midvastus surgical approach used in the MIS technique results in less pain (at both 8 days and 6 weeks after surgery) and quicker restoration of muscle control and strength.2 It may take several months to recover from the large incision and muscle disruption that accompanies the standard approach.1
1. White, R., Allman, J., Trauger, J., Dales, B., “Clinical Comparison of the Midvastus and Medial Parapatellar Surgical Approaches,” Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research, 1999, 367: 117-122.
2. Tria, A.J.,“Minimal Incision Total Knee Arthroplasty,” Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research, 2003, 416: 185-190.