Quad-Sparing Total Knee Replacement

Patients who are candidates for a total knee replacement because of debilitating knee pain now have a new option available to them that allows a return to normal activity much sooner than before.  Recent changes in the surgical instruments and technique have allowed some surgeons the ability to perform a complete knee replacement through a much smaller incision without cutting or manipulating vital muscles and tendons.  This new procedure is called the Zimmer Minimally Invasive Solutions (MIS™) Quad-Sparing™ Total Knee Arthroplasty, more commonly referred to as Quad-Sparing Total Knee Replacement (TKR).


The Quad-Sparing TKR uses the same implants as traditional knee replacement, but is less invasive.  Whereas the traditional procedure uses a long 8 – 12 inch incision, Quad-Sparing TKR is performed through a smaller incision of only 3 – 5 inches.  With the traditional technique, the quadriceps muscle and tendon are cut or manipulated, but the Quad-Sparing technique ‘spares’ these vital structures altogether.  The goal of the Quad-Sparing TKR is to minimize tissue trauma by avoiding the quadriceps mechanism so that patients experience less weakness, less pain, a shorter hospital stay, and shorter rehabilitation.  Patients who would typically be on a walker for 4 to 6 weeks after traditional total knee replacement are able to convert to a cane after only 1 to 2 weeks following Quad-Sparing surgery.  Quad-Sparing TKR is performed as a SAME-DAY SURGERY with patients going home the evening of the procedure. 

Dr. Rick Nixon has been trained through the Zimmer Institute in Warsaw, Indiana to perform the patented Zimmer Quad-Sparing MIS Total Knee Replacement and is the only surgeon in the Houston area who performs the technique.  “I have used the Quad-Sparing technique almost exclusively for the past 15 years” says Dr. Nixon, “and have seen a definite decrease in the amount of pain and weakness compared to standard knee replacement.  I have some patients coming into the office at two weeks using no walking aid at all, and they are very pleased with the smaller scar.  I have testimony from nurses and therapists that these patients recover so much faster.” 


Not every patient is a candidate for the minimally invasive technique.  Patients with significant deformity of the knee may be better served with the standard technique.  Revision knee surgeries will also require a more extensive approach.  And, as with every surgery, the results of the Quad-Sparing TKR depend on the patient’s personal circumstances, including a variety of factors such as weight, activity level, bone quality, and compliance with the physical therapy program; however, most patients tend to be good candidates for minimally invasive Quad-Sparing Total Knee Replacement.


Dr. Nixon says, “Patients tend to be reluctant to undergo total knee replacement because of what they may have heard regarding the degree of pain and the long, painful therapy required afterwards.  It has been my experience that patients who have had the Quad-Sparing procedure seem to return to a normal lifestyle much sooner and with much less pain than did my patients in the past.”


For more information regarding Quad-Sparing Total Knee Replacement visit www.zimmerbiomet.com


A patient 3 weeks after a Quad-sparing total knee replacement

The same patient pain free 2 years following sugery. 

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