The knee is one of the most important joints in the human body, bending repeatedly throughout the day and night so we can walk or run, sit or stand, and do so comfortably. But for some individuals, even minor movements of the knee are intensely uncomfortable and even painful. If you have reached the point where non-surgical treatments are no longer effective in managing the discomfort and pain in your knee, it may be time to consider Minimally Invasive Muscle Sparing Total Knee Replacement with Dr. Lige Kaplan. A minimally invasive total knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which the entire joint between the femur and the tibia is replaced with a prosthesis, usually composed of metal and polyethylene. The damaged cartilage is removed, and the end of the bones resurfaced and fitted with the prosthesis. The polyethylene (plastic) insert allows the two parts of the prosthesis to move against each other easily and painlessly, much like the cartilage it replaced. A total knee replacement can be expected to provide pain-free movement for between 25-30 years and potentially longer. All of this is done without any of the quadriceps muscle being cut like traditional knee replacement.

Minimally invasive total knee replacement is a cutting edge treatment for patients requiring a total knee replacement. While there are many benefits to minimally invasive surgery, there can also be increased risk of complications if not done correctly. So it is critical that you select a surgeon who is extremely experienced performing this operation. Dr. Lige Kaplan talented orthopaedic surgeon with extensive experience in minimally invasive total knee replacement having performed thousands of these proceedures. He will work with you to understand the benefits and risk associated with this procedure. He will answer all your questions and address any concerns you might have before surgery. Dr Kaplan is committed to ensuring that you are completely comfortable with your customized treatment plan and completely satisfied with the results.

Benefits of a Minimally Invasive Muscle Sparing Total Knee Replacement

A traditional total knee replacement is an invasive surgical procedure involving a long incision (10-12 inches) through the skin on top of the knee and through the quadriceps tendon. The quadriceps tendon joins the large muscles of the thigh to the kneecap and is very important in immediate postoperative function after knee replacement. A minimally invasive total knee replacement is a more advanced procedure that improves on the invasive, traditional approach. This procedure utilizes a much smaller incision, usually only 4-6 inches long. In addition, Dr. Kaplan does not cut into any of the muscles surrounding the knee, resulting in less damage to the soft tissues. By avoiding cutting into the quadriceps tendon, Dr. Kaplan’s patients typically experience significantly less post-operative discomfort. Patients also experience a much faster return of complete knee function. This allows for faster initial recovery and return to activities sooner. Some of Dr. Kaplan’s patients return to work and light exercise in as little as 3 weeks after surgery.

By using minimally invasive surgical techniques Dr. Kaplan is able to perform the operation with less trauma to the soft tissues, muscles, and tendons around the joint and reducing the risk of surgical and post-operative complications. This procedure has been shown to reduce blood loss during and immediately after the surgery, shorter hospital stays, and less post-operative pain and discomfort. Patients generally experience a faster recovery and rehabilitation, regaining the full range of motion allowed by the prosthesis in a shorter time frame than allowed by a traditional total knee replacement. Like a traditional total knee replacement, a knee replacement that is conducted in this manner can be expected to last 25-30 years and potentially longer.

Procedure and Recovery

A minimally invasive total knee replacement usually requires a procedural time of 1-1½ hours, followed by a short hospital stay. Most patients are able to leave the hospital within one day of surgery. Many patients will have minimal post-operative pain and discomfort. Dr. Kaplan has also employed the use of Tranexamic Acid in his patients. This revolutionary medication has been extensively studied in patients undergoing knee replacement surgery. It has been shown to significantly reduce post-operative swelling, bleeding and has virtually eliminated the need for blood transfusions after surgery. In addition, tranexamic acid has been shown to be very safe in the vast majority of patients. Some swelling and discomfort can be expected after surgery however these postoperative symptoms can usually be alleviated with Tylenol and Celebrex. Patients are encouraged to begin walking within hours of the procedure. With regular physical therapy, recovering full strength, energy, and range of motion can occur within 3-6 weeks after surgery. During recovery, patients are advised to keep the knee in a comfortable position and wear comfortable, supportive shoes. Exercise every day is recommended, and patients can use icepacks regularly if they notice swelling or tenderness. During recovery, patients should avoid large bends, twisting movements, and high-impact activities like running and jumping.

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