In general, any talk about minimally invasive knee replacement centers around the resulting size of a patient's scar. The reason behind this is that a primary cause of post surgical pain is the swelling that occurs whenever the soft tissue of the body is cut or manipulated. Therefore, when it comes to surgery, smaller may be better. Thanks to advancements in surgical instrumentation, including VISIONAIRE Patient Matched Technology, surgeons may be able to replace entire knee joints with incisions that are up to 75 percent smaller than those used in the past.
However, for a knee replacement to be truly minimally invasive, we believe you must look beyond the scar and address what happens inside the body as well.
In any total knee replacement, a surgeon must position the implant in such a way that its various plastic and metal components meet at precise angles in order to function properly and prevent premature or excessive wear of the implant. You can think of it like balancing the tires on your car to improve handling and extend tread life. During a conventional total knee replacement, a surgeon uses special cutting jigs that attach to an intramedullary (IM) rod - a device inserted up the length of the femur - to help help identify the proper knee implant alignment in relation to the hip joint. These jigs, along with the "feel" developed through years spent in the operating room, help a surgeon to determine where to remove the bone necessary to attach the new implant. As you may imagine, once each cut is made to the bone, the natural bone cannot be replaced, making it critical that the surgeon "measure twice and cut once."
VISIONAIRE Patient Matched Technology addresses the issue of alignment by using the data from your MRI and x-ray to build special cutting blocks that attach directly to the ends of your bones without the use of an IM rod. Not only do these blocks help ensure that your new knee will be positioned in precise, correct alignment to your hip, they also allow the surgeon to remove as little bone as possible to achieve that fit.
Equally important, by eliminating the use of an intramedullary (IM) rod, there is a reduced risk of fat embolism, caused when the IM rod forces body fat into the patient's blood stream. If fat travels through the blood stream, it could become lodged in the heart or brain and cause heart failure, dementia or stroke.
In summary, the potential benefits of VISIONAIRE Patient Matched Technology include:
Individual results of joint replacement vary. Implants are intended to relieve knee pain and improve function, but may not produce the same feel or function as your original knee. There are potential risks with knee replacement surgery such as loosening, wear and infection that may result in the need for additional surgery. Patients should not perform high impact activities such as running and jumping unless their surgeon tells them that the bone has healed and these activities are acceptable. Early device failure, breakage or loosening may occur if a surgeon's limitations on activity level are not followed.
The information listed on this site is for informational and educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation.