Minimal incision total knee arthroplasty: early experience.Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2003 NovCO
Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) has evolved during the past 30 years to a well-defined technical surgery with excellent results for as many as 20 years of followup. The concepts of exposure, ligament balancing, and joint alignment have been established clearly by Insall and others. In the early 1990s, Repicci introduced minimally invasive surgery for unicondylar knee arthroplasty. This approach suggested that less invasive surgery could accomplish similar results to those of standard unicondylar knee arthroplasty. Early reports in the literature support these conclusions. It only was logical that the minimally invasive surgery approach eventually would be applied to TKA. It is extremely important to establish a clear definition of the minimally invasive surgery and, then, to follow the results. We have completed 70 minimally-invasive TKAs during the past 9 months with early results that indicate less intraoperative blood loss, shorter length of stay, increased range of motion (ROM), with similar implant accuracy to standard TKA. These new procedures will require thorough evaluation as with any new clinical endeavor. It also is of paramount importance to remember that the main goal of any new technology is to advance the science of medicine without compromising the ultimate result for the patient. The early findings are encouraging for the future of minimally invasive TKA and we hope to improve the technology during the next few years.