Dr. Tsao recalls the common size of a knee replacement incision. Dr. Tsao's specialty interests include muscle sparing approaches and customization of surgical procedures and implants for individual patients at Banner Medical Centers in Arizona.
Knee approaches for total knee replacements are generally dumped from the front and what has happened is the standard knee incision, which generally goes to several inches above the knee cap to several inches below the knee cap, was quite long and opened up the knee the entire way to visualize it to do knee replacement surgery.
Recently in last several years we have done more muscle-sparing approaches and minimally invasive surgery. I like the term ‘muscle sparing’ because we still see everything we need to see, but we try and save as much of the muscle as we can without cutting it. When that happens recuperation is quicker. Those incisions are generally placed slightly off the center of the knee, more towards the inside of the knee and generally can run anywhere from three to four inches up to six to eight inches. What determines that size generally is the size of the patient, so a larger knee needs a larger incision. A patient who is heavier may require a larger incision also.
The last thing we want to do is rip any tissue and so we would rather make a surgical incision that’s a little bit smaller so as not to compromise the muscle tissue. Again, the knee surgery has to be of an incision so that I can get the knee replacement actually into the knee. So if you’re having a partial knee replacement your incision may be smaller because the implant is smaller. If you are getting a complete knee replacement then you might get a larger incision because the implant is larger.
About Dr. Audrey K. Tsao, M.D.:
Audrey Tsao received her engineering degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. She attended medical school at Cornell University and completed her orthopaedic residency at Northwestern University in Chicago. She returned to Johns Hopkins University to complete a fellowship in Arthritis and Adult reconstruction surgery.
Conditions: Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
Related Terms: Knee Replacement, Hip Replacement, Partial Knee Replacement, Total Knee Replacement, Partial Hip Replacement, Total Hip Replacement, Hip Reconstruction, Knee Reconstruction, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Physical Therapy
Health Care Provider: Banner Boswell, Boswell Medical Center, Banner Boswell Medical Center
Locations: Surprise, Glendale, Litchfield Park, Peoria, Phoenix, Sun City, Arizona, 85351
Expert: Dr. Audrey Tsao, Dr. Audrey K. Tsao, M.D., Audrey Tsao, M.D, Orthopedic Surgeon Audrey Tsao, Dr. Tsao
Expertise: Orthopedic Surgery, Arthritis, Osteoarthris, Partial Knee Replacement, Total Knee Replacement, Partial Hip Replacement, Total Hip Replacement, Knee Reconstruction, Hip Reconstruction, Muscle Sparing Surgery