Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a procedure aimed at replacing either a portion or the entirety of your knee joint. During this surgical intervention, your surgeon will substitute damaged cartilage and bone with a prosthetic joint. It may require upto a year to fully recover after a knee replacement, but you can gradually resume some of your typical activities as you recover. Typically the cost for knee replacement in India ranges from 3 to 4 lakhs rupees.
- Total Knee Replacement: This involves replacing the joint surfaces of the femur, tibia, and possibly the patella with artificial components. Cement or textured surfaces promote bone bonding.
- Unicompartmental (Partial) Knee Replacement: If only one side of the knee is affected, a partial knee replacement may be an option, requiring a smaller incision and offering a quicker recovery. Partial knee replacement in India costs around 1.5 to 2 lakhs rupees.
- Kneecap Replacement (Patellofemoral Arthroplasty): This surgery focuses on the under-surface of the kneecap and its groove when these areas are affected by arthritis. It’s a less common option with a higher failure rate.
- Complex or Revision Knee Replacement: This type is necessary for severe conditions involving major bone loss, deformity, or ligament weakness. It often includes longer stems and additional components for stability.
- Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is a surgical method designed to minimize tissue damage, reduce pain, and lower blood loss, resulting in faster recovery. In MIS, incisions are small (around 3 to 4 inches), and instead of flipping over the kneecap, it is moved to the side. This approach minimizes harm to the quadriceps muscle, enhances healing speed, and improves post-surgery mobility.
MIS utilizes specialized instruments and the same implants as traditional surgery, with the key difference being the surgical technique. The long-term clinical outcomes of MIS are similar to those of traditional surgery.
Types of MIS approaches include:
- Quadriceps-Sparing Approaches: These involve minimal incisions, shifting the kneecap to the side, and cutting away arthritic bone without severing the quadriceps tendon. Subvastus and midvastus approaches are variations, with the latter splitting the vastus muscle along a natural line. The choice depends on the patient’s knee condition.
- Lateral Approach: Used less frequently, this approach is suitable for knees that tend to bend outward. It spares much of the quadriceps, allowing for faster walking recovery.
MIS can reduce hospital stays to 3-4 days and shorten the recovery period to 4-6 weeks. Patients often experience less pain and quicker return to daily activities. However, not everyone is a candidate for MIS, and it requires specialized instruments and surgical training.
Computer-assisted surgery (CAS) is becoming increasingly popular, involving the use of a computer to create a 3-D model of the knee based on a patient’s anatomical data. This technology aids in precise component alignment and can lead to smaller incisions, shorter recovery times, and increased joint longevity. CAS is used in both traditional and minimally invasive knee replacement procedures.
The choice Knee surgery depends on your specific condition and health. Your orthopedic surgeon will help you choose the best option, considering factors like joint damage, arthritis location, and overall health.