What’s the deal with quad sparing knee replacements?
14 June 2016
Knee replacement surgery is a procedure that can be life changing for many patients with chronic pain from arthritis or past injuries. This surgery can provide pain relief and mobility for an otherwise “worn out” knee. This is beneficial for active people trying to get back to an active lifestyle. Traditional knee replacement surgery is a viable option, but is considered invasive, and requires a great amount of rehabilitation, especially for the first few months. This timeline can be daunting for someone who is already living with daily chronic pain, normally works a forty-hour week, and has already used up his or her vacation time. What then?
Recently, a new kind of knee replacement has entered the Orthopaedic world – the quadriceps sparing knee replacement. Quad sparing knee replacements are a minimally invasive alternate surgical technique that allows for quicker recovery, as well as lower levels of post-operative pain. This occurs by avoiding the quadriceps entirely. The quadriceps muscle is one of the most important muscles in the leg. This presents an issue with the traditional knee replacement procedure because of the need to partially cut the quad tendon, which requires additional rehabilitation as well as the knee. This is what causes much more pain, as well as overall recovery time to increase. Although the outcome is relatively the same (most patients in both cases report having a huge decrease, if not complete disappearance, of arthritic and injury-related pain after full rehabilitation), the recovery time is accelerated.
Traditional knee replacements involve an intense amount of rehabilitation, combined with a large amount of time requiring ambulation using a walker or cane. Age and current health can be contributing factors for many surgeries’ expected recovery timeline, and replacement surgery is no exception.
Because recovery and healing can have so much to do with mindset, the quicker you get back to feeling like your old self, the better. Quad sparing knee replacement surgery might be the way to go if you want to be back on your feet as soon as possible!
*Quadriceps sparing knee replacements are subjective to individual patients and their individual health needs, and not everyone is a candidate. Premier joint replacement surgeons are trained in this newer technique. Please consult your Orthopaedic surgeon to learn more.