World J Orthop
Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for arthroplasty of the knee began with surgery for unicondylar knee arthroplasty (UKA). Partial knee replacements were designed in the 1970s and were amenable to a more limited exposure. In the 1990s Repicci popularized the MIS for UKA. Surgeons began to apply his concepts to total knee arthroplasty. Four MIS surgical techniques were developed: quadriceps sparing, mini-mid vastus, mini-subvastus, and mini-medial parapatellar. The quadriceps sparing technique is the most limited one and is also the most difficult. However, it is the least invasive and allows rapid recovery. The mini-midvastus is the most common technique because it affords slightly better exposure and can be extended. The mini-subvastus technique entirely avoids incising the quadriceps extensor mechanism but is time consuming and difficult in the obese and in the muscular male patient. The mini-parapatellar technique is most familiar to surgeons and represents a good starting point for surgeons who are learning the techniques. The surgeries are easier with smaller instruments but can be performed with standard ones. The techniques are accurate and do lead to a more rapid recovery, with less pain, less blood loss, and greater motion if they are appropriately performed.
School of Medicine