At Texas Joint Institute, we offer advanced orthopedic procedures, such as muscle-sparing knee replacement, designed to provide optimal outcomes for patients seeking relief from knee pain and mobility limitations. This innovative surgical technique allows for a faster recovery, reduced tissue damage, and improved range of motion compared to traditional knee replacement methods.

What is muscle sparing knee replacement?

Muscle-sparing knee replacement, also known as minimally invasive knee replacement, is a surgical procedure that aims to replace the damaged or diseased knee joint with an artificial implant while minimizing disruption to the surrounding muscles and tissues. This technique allows for a more targeted approach, preserving the natural structures of the knee to a greater extent.

Types of knee replacement surgeries

There are several types of knee replacement surgeries available, each tailored to the patient's unique needs and the extent of knee joint damage. At Texas Joint Institute, our expert orthopedic surgeons specialize in the following approaches:

Partial knee replacement

Partial knee replacement, or unicompartmental knee replacement, is suitable for patients with knee arthritis confined to a specific knee compartment. In this procedure, only the affected part of the knee joint is replaced, preserving the healthy portions and maintaining natural knee movement.

Traditional total knee replacement

Traditional total knee replacement is a comprehensive procedure where all three knee joint compartments are replaced with artificial implants. It is typically recommended for patients with widespread knee arthritis or severe joint damage.

Minimally invasive muscle-sparing knee replacement

Minimally invasive muscle-sparing knee replacement is an advanced technique that aims to reduce trauma to the surrounding muscles and tissues during surgery. This approach utilizes smaller incisions and specialized instruments, allowing quicker recovery and reduced post-operative pain.

Anatomy of the Knee Joint

Understanding the anatomy of the knee joint can provide valuable insight into the benefits of muscle-sparing knee replacement. The knee joint consists of three main components:

  • The femur (thigh bone)
  • The tibia (shin bone)
  • The patella (kneecap)

These structures are surrounded by muscles, ligaments, tendons and cartilage, all of which play crucial roles in joint stability and mobility.

Advantages of muscle sparing knee replacement surgery

Muscle-sparing knee replacement surgery offers several benefits compared to traditional approaches. These advantages include the following:

Reduced tissue damage

By preserving the muscles and tendons around the knee joint, muscle-sparing knee replacement minimizes tissue damage during surgery. This can lead to less post-operative pain and a faster recovery.

Quicker recovery time

Due to the procedure's minimally invasive nature, muscle-sparing knee replacement typically results in a shorter recovery period than traditional knee replacement. You may experience a faster return to normal activities and improved overall quality of life.

Less pain and swelling

Preserving the muscles and soft tissues during surgery can help reduce pain and swelling after the procedure. This can contribute to a more comfortable and manageable recovery process.

Better range of motion

Muscle-sparing knee replacement promotes a better range of motion in the knee joint by minimizing disruption to the surrounding structures. You may experience improved flexibility and increased mobility following the surgery.

Reduced risk of dislocation

Preserving the soft tissues and ligaments around the knee joint can help maintain joint stability and reduce the risk of dislocation. This is particularly beneficial if you engage in an active lifestyle or have a higher risk of joint instability.

Indications for muscle sparing knee replacement

Muscle-sparing knee replacement may be recommended if you meet certain criteria. Factors that are considered when determining if this procedure is right for you include:

Age and activity level

Muscle-sparing knee replacement can be right for a range of ages and activity levels. Your physician can assess your specific circumstances to determine if the procedure is a fit for you.

The severity of knee arthritis

The extent of knee arthritis and the specific compartments affected are considered when considering muscle-sparing knee replacement. This approach is often beneficial if you have limited arthritis that only affects particular knee areas.

Weight and body mass index (BMI)

Weight and BMI can be contributing factors to knee joint stress and arthritis. The orthopedic surgeon will evaluate the your weight and overall health to determine the most suitable treatment approach.

Knee deformity and alignment

Muscle-sparing knee replacement may be appropriate if you have mild to moderate knee deformities or alignment issues. The surgeon will assess your knee's structure and alignment to determine the best course of action.

Muscle strength and flexibility

The strength and flexibility of the surrounding muscles and soft tissues play a role in the success of muscle-sparing knee replacement.

When joint pain interferes with your life, it may be time to see a specialist. Contact us to find out if you are a candidate for joint replacement.

How to prepare for muscle sparing knee replacement

Preparing for muscle-sparing knee replacement involves several steps to ensure a smooth and successful surgery. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Preoperative evaluation: Your orthopedic surgeon will conduct a comprehensive preoperative evaluation, including a physical examination, medical history review and diagnostic tests such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. This assessment helps determine your candidacy for muscle-sparing knee replacement and guides the surgical plan.
  • Medical clearance: You may be required to undergo certain medical tests or consultations with other specialists to ensure you are in good overall health for surgery. This may include assessments by your primary care physician, cardiologist or other specialists as needed.
  • Medications and supplements: It is important to inform your surgeon about any medications or supplements you are currently taking. Some medications or supplements may need to be adjusted or temporarily stopped before the surgery to minimize the risk of complications.
  • Physical conditioning: Doing preoperative exercises as your surgeon or a physical therapist recommends can help improve muscle strength and flexibility. This can enhance your postoperative recovery and rehabilitation process.
  • Nutrition and hydration: Maintaining a healthy diet and staying well-hydrated before surgery can promote optimal healing and support your body's ability to recover.
  • Smoking cessation: If you smoke, your surgeon may advise you to quit smoking before surgery. Smoking can impair the healing process and increase the risk of complications.
  • Home Preparation: Ensure your home is prepared for your return after surgery. Make necessary arrangements such as clearing pathways, installing assistive devices like handrails or shower chairs and arranging any required home care or assistance during your recovery period.
  • Preoperative instructions: Follow your surgeon's specific preoperative instructions regarding fasting guidelines, medication restrictions, and arrival times on the day of surgery.

Following these guidelines and discussing any concerns with your surgeon can help ensure a successful muscle-sparing knee replacement procedure.

What to expect during muscle sparing knee replacement surgery

Muscle-sparing knee replacement is typically performed under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia when you are asleep or have no feeling below the waist, respectively. The surgical procedure generally follows these steps:

  • Incision: The surgeon makes a small incision, typically 3-4 inches long, in the front or side of the knee. This minimally invasive approach reduces trauma to the surrounding tissues.
  • Accessing the joint: The surgeon carefully moves the muscles and tendons aside to gain access to the knee joint. Specialized instruments are used to ensure minimal disruption to the surrounding structures.
  • Reshaping damaged bone: Any damaged or arthritic bone and cartilage within the knee joint are removed, and the surfaces are prepared for the placement of the artificial implant components.
  • Implant placement: The artificial knee components, including the metal femoral component, the plastic tibial component, and a plastic spacer, are securely attached to the prepared bone surfaces. These components mimic the natural structure and function of the knee joint.
  • Closure: Once the implants are in place, the surgeon carefully closes the incision with sutures or staples.
  • Recovery and observation: You will be taken to a recovery area where medical professionals will monitor your vital signs and ensure your comfort as you wake up from anesthesia.

The duration of the surgery can vary depending on individual factors, but muscle-sparing knee replacement generally takes about 1 to 2 hours.

Postoperative recovery and rehabilitation

Following muscle-sparing knee replacement surgery, a comprehensive rehabilitation program is crucial for a successful recovery. Your orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist will guide you through the rehabilitation process, which typically includes the following components:

Pain management

Effective pain management is essential to facilitate mobility and participation in rehabilitation exercises. Your medical team will prescribe appropriate pain medications and techniques to manage discomfort during recovery.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is vital in restoring the knee joint's strength, flexibility and function. A physical therapist will work with you to develop a personalized exercise program to gradually increase mobility, improve muscle strength, and enhance overall joint stability.

Mobility exercises

Range of motion exercises and mobility drills are essential to regain flexibility and restore normal knee joint function. These exercises are tailored to your specific needs and are typically performed under the guidance of a physical therapist.

Home care instructions

Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on wound care, incision care and activities to avoid during the initial recovery period. It is essential to follow these instructions closely to promote proper healing and reduce the risk of complications.

As you progress through the rehabilitation process, your physical therapist will gradually increase the intensity and complexity of your exercises. The rehabilitation program duration varies for each individual but can typically span several weeks to several months.

Risks and complications of muscle sparing knee replacement

Muscle-sparing knee replacement is generally considered a safe and effective procedure, but as with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications. These may include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Blood clots
  • Implant loosening or dislocation
  • Infection
  • Limited range of motion
  • Nerve or blood vessel damage
  • Persistent pain or stiffness
  • Rare instances of fracture or bone damage

Discussing these potential risks and complications with your orthopedic surgeon before surgery is important. Your surgeon will provide information and strategies to minimize these risks and optimize your recovery.

Frequently asked questions

What can happen without surgery?

Without surgery, knee conditions such as osteoarthritis can worsen over time, leading to increased pain, limited mobility and decreased quality of life. Muscle-sparing knee replacement can provide relief from these symptoms and restore function to the knee joint.

Who should consider muscle sparing knee replacement?

Individuals who experience persistent knee pain, stiffness and reduced quality of life due to knee arthritis or joint damage may be suitable candidates for muscle-sparing knee replacement. A consultation with an orthopedic surgeon can help determine if this procedure is appropriate for your condition.

How effective is the surgery?

Muscle-sparing knee replacement is highly effective in relieving pain, improving function, and restoring mobility in patients with knee arthritis. The success of the surgery depends on various factors, including your overall health, adherence to rehabilitation protocols and following the surgeon's postoperative instructions.

How long is recovery?

Recovery times can vary depending on the individual and the extent of the surgery. In general, patients can expect to regain mobility and return to normal activities gradually over several weeks to months. Your surgeon and physical therapist will provide guidance and support throughout your recovery journey.

How soon can I walk after muscle sparing knee replacement?

In most cases, patients are encouraged to start walking with a walker or crutches within the first day or two after surgery. As you progress through the rehabilitation program and your knee heals, you will gradually increase weight-bearing activities and regain independence in walking.

Do you need physical therapy after muscle sparing knee replacement surgery?

Yes, physical therapy is integral to the recovery process following muscle-sparing knee replacement surgery. Physical therapy helps improve strength, flexibility and mobility and promotes a faster and more complete recovery. Your physical therapist will guide you through exercises and techniques tailored to your needs.

When can you return to normal daily activities after muscle sparing knee replacement surgery?

The timeline for returning to normal daily activities varies for each individual. It depends on healing progress, pain tolerance and rehabilitation compliance. Most patients can expect to gradually resume normal activities within a few weeks to a few months after surgery. Your surgeon will provide guidance on when it is safe to resume specific activities.

Experience advanced muscle-sparing knee replacement at Texas Joint Institute

At Texas Joint Institute, our specialists are leaders in joint repair, handling complex cases with expertise. With cutting-edge technology, we bring patients closer to a pain-free life. Our focus on muscle-sparing knee replacement minimizes trauma, accelerating recovery. Trust our professional team for compassionate, personalized care and experience the transformative power of our advanced treatments. Contact us today at (972) 566-5255 and discover how our team can help you regain mobility and improve your quality of life.