Minimal Invasive Knee Replacement

Minimal invasive knee replacement surgery, is a term that is used to describe several modifications of conventional knee replacement surgeries. These modified procedures are designed to reduce the tissue trauma associated with surgery. The goal is to reduce postoperative discomfort, speed up discharge, and reduce the need for physical therapy.

Knee replacement surgeries use modern biomaterials, biomaterials are synthetic or partially synthetic materials that are used to take the place of parts within the body. Use of these modern materials has allowed knee replacements to last well in appropriately selected patients.

No Gap Billing

Dr Rimmer offers no gap orthopaedic surgery to all his patients with private health insurance. This ensures great value and savings to patients who pay a substantial amount to insure themselves and their families.

How traditional knee replacement is different from minimal invasive knee replacement?

  • A traditional knee replacement surgery requires an 8 inch to 12 inch incision down the middle of the knee. Whereas, minimal invasive knee surgery requires only of 3 inch to 6 inch skin incision.
  • In traditional knee replacement surgery the knee cap is turned around 180 degrees to give full access to see whyere femur and tibia meet. In minimally invasive the kneecap is often simply pushed aside.
  • During minimally invasive surgery the tibia may not be dislocated from the femur whereas in tradtitional surgery surgeon will dislocate the tibia(shinbone) from the femur (thighbone) before fitting both bones with prosthetics.
  • To access the knee joint during traditional knee replacement surgery surgeon cuts through quadriceps muscles at the front of the thigh, the quad tendon that attaches the four quadriceps muscles to the kneecap and other soft tissue. During less invasive surgery the incision must extend through some deeper soft tissue, but certain muscles and tendons are lifted or pushed out of the way rather than cut.


Benefit of Minimal Invasive Knee Replacement

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Accelerated recovery process
  • Less scar tissue

Preparing for minimal invasive knee replacement surgery

There are many things that your surgeon may do to minimize the potential for complications. Your surgeon may have you see a medical physician before surgery to obtain tests. You may also need to have your dental work up to date and may be shown how to prepare your home to avoid falls.

After surgery

You will wake up in the recovery ward where you will be closely monitored until you are ready to return to your ward. You will be observed until you are fully awake.

You may need to hospitalized for 2 to 3 days. During this time, you will receive pain medication and begin physical therapy. You should be out of bed and walking with crutches or a walker within 24 hours of your surgery. The dressings will be changed 48 hours after the operation. Your knee will be swollen and may have areas of bruising. This is normal. You will be under the daily supervision of a physiotherapist until you are discharged from hospital. The aims of these visits are to optimise motion in the knee, regain ambulation, improve muscle strength and control knee swelling.

Before you leave the hospital, your therapist will show you a variety of exercises designed to help you regain mobility and strength.

At home, it is important to continue with your exercises as your physician has instructed. It is a good idea to enlist the help of friends or family to help you once you do return home.

    Treating knee pain without surgery

    Before considering surgery, patients can trial lifestyle modifications and rehab programs.

    • Weight reduction
    • Physical exercise
    • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
    • Thermotherapy
    • Acupuncture
    • Massage therapy

    Recovery time for minimal invasive knee replacement

    Recovery after minimally invasive replacement takes approximately half as long as traditional total  replacement. Every person’s recovery time will vary, but most people should be able to drive after 2 weeks, garden after 3 to 4 weeks, and golf about 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. Your surgeon will tell you when you can return to these activities and will also tell you which activities to avoid.

    If you or someone you know requires minimal invasive knee replacement surgery, book an appointment with Dr Rimmer to have your situation properly assessed and managed.