Knee Replacement

At the Matthys Orthopaedic Center, we specialize in the evaluation and management various knee conditions. One of Dr. Matthys' specialties is the surgical treatment of the knee when it damaged by arthritis. Dr. Matthys performs primary and revision total joint replacements as well as corrective osteotomies. Select patients with arthritis and traumatic cartilage defects may be a candidate for partial knee replacement, joint surface transplantation (osteochondral allografts), osteotomies or cartilage transplant.

Knee replacement is a surgical procedure that decreases pain and improves the quality of life in many patients with severe arthritis of the knees. Typically, patients undergo this surgery after non-operative treatments (such as activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications, or knee joint injections) have failed to provide relief of arthritic symptoms. Surgeons have performed knee replacements for over three decades, generally with excellent results; most reports have ten-year success rates in excess of 90 percent.

Broadly speaking, there are two types ways to insert a total knee replacement: the traditional approach, and the newer minimally-invasive (sometimes called quadriceps-sparing) approach.

Traditional total knee replacement involves a roughly 10” incision over the knee, a hospital stay of 3-5 days, and sometimes an additional stay in an inpatient rehabilitation setting before going home. The recovery period(during which the patient walks with a walker or cane) typically lasting from one to three months. The large majority of patients report substantial or complete relief of their arthritic symptoms once they have recovered from a total knee replacement.

Minimally-invasive quadriceps-sparing total knee replacement is a technique commonly performed by Dr. Matthys. With this technique, the knee replacement implants are placed through a shorter incision using surgical approach that avoids trauma to the quadriceps muscle, which is the most important muscle group around the knee. This new technique, which is sometimes called quadriceps-sparing knee replacement uses an incision that is typically smaller in length, and the recovery time is much quicker – often permitting patients to walk with a cane within a couple of weeks of surgery or even earlier. The less-traumatic nature of the surgical approach also may decrease post-operative pain and diminish the need for rehab and therapy compared to more traditional approaches. Not all patients are a candidate for this technique. Revision surgery and patients with severe deformity and stiffness generally need a more traditional approach.

The future!

Computer Navigation is a recent advance in knee replacement that is already demonstrating more consistently accurate results than traditional methods. The success of a total knee replacement has been closely linked to accurate alignment and implantation of the parts. Like a car whose faulty alignment may lead to premature wear of the tires, poorly aligned total knees are prone to early failure. Computer navigation allows Dr. Matthys to individualize each person's anatomy. Not everyone has the same pattern of arthritis. Some patients may have bowed leg deformities while other patients may have knocked-knee deformities. These variations can be subtle, however with the use of a computer, the implants fit your anatomy more accurately and therefore may last longer.

Knee Handout