What Is Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery?


What Is Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery?

Traditional knee replacement surgery involves a long incision (8 to 12 inches) and a lengthy rehabilitation. Over the past decade, however, minimally invasive techniques have been developed to successfully implant the very same clinically proven joints. Today, there are minimally invasive procedures for both partial and total knee replacements.

Zimmer® Minimally Invasive Solutions™ (MIS) Procedures

MIS knee replacement are minimally invasive procedures that are performed through a 2-to 3-inch incision. With less cutting of skin than traditional surgery, and less or no cutting of key muscles and tissues, the goals of Zimmer MIS are to alleviate pain, restore mobility, and get you back to your everyday activities sooner. Time spent in the hospital is typically 24 hours or less—the procedure is sometimes performed on an outpatient basis. The estimated rehabilitation/recovery time after a Zimmer MIS partial knee replacement is approximately five weeks for many patients, but it varies.

Zimmer MIS procedures are named based on how your surgeon accesses your knee, so that the damaged areas can be replaced with new parts. You may hear your doctor talk about these techniques. The most commonly used Zimmer minimally invasive and “mini-incision” total knee replacement techniques are called:

  • MIS Quad-Sparing™ Total Knee Arthoplasty
  • MIS Subvastus
  • MIS Midvastus
  • MIS Medial Parapatellar

As with any surgery, there are risks involved. Some complications during and after surgery can include infections, blood clots, prosthesis loosening, and nerve damage. Talk with your orthopedic surgeon to find out if you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery.

Benefits of Zimmer MIS knee surgery:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less or no cutting of key muscles and tissues
  • Less pain
  • Less risk of infection
  • Shorter (or no) hospital stays
  • Faster recovery


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