New Knee Replacement Technique May Decrease Recovery Time

Doctors recommend knee replacement when your knee is severely damaged by arthritis, or an injury. Damage to the knee not only causes pain, but may limit your mobility and prevent you from performing normal daily activities. Non-surgical options are often the first line of treatment. However, if those are no longer effective, knee replacement may be your best option. Roughly 600,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed each year. For people with knee arthritis, a new procedure may boost your recovery time.

Quadriceps-Sparing Knee Replacement

Traditional total knee replacement techniques result in lengthy and often painful rehabilitation. This causes some people to put off total knee replacement surgery, as it requires planning for several months away from work and regular activities. Quad-sparing is a less invasive alternative that utilizes the same implants as traditional knee replacement. 


  • Less muscle and tendon trauma. In traditional knee replacement the quadriceps muscles and tendons, which run along the thigh, are cut and manipulated. Lengthy rehabilitation is needed when muscles and tendons are cut. As the name implies, the quad-sparing technique completely avoids cutting the quadriceps muscles and tendons, which may improve recovery time.
  • Smaller Incision. An eight to 12-inch incision is made during traditional total knee replacement surgery, which causes noticeable and sizable scarring. For those worried about scars, the quad-sparing method utilizes a much smaller, three to 4-inch incision. 
  • Less Pain. Because quad-sparing total knee replacement is less invasive, there is less cutting and manipulation of the knee and surrounding tissues. This means less pain during the recovery period, as well as less blood loss during surgery and a shorter hospital stay.

What to Expect After Surgery

You can expect your knee to feel tender and swollen for a few days. While in the hospital, your care team will begin a rehabilitation program as soon as possible to help you recover. This involves helping you stand and walk within the first 24 hours. Often a walker is used to assist you. Once you are discharged home, your doctor will have you implement an at-home exercise regimen. Progress is monitored the first two weeks with one or two follow-up visits. 

What to Know About the Risks

The major risk of having quad-sparing total knee replacement is that the procedure is new and more challenging to perform than traditional knee replacement. It's crucial to do your research and find a surgeon who is very competent and has a successfully history at performing this technique. 

For more information, talk to a professional like Northern Care Inc Prosthetics & Orthotics.