Some patients have arthritis that primarily involves only one compartment of the knee. The most common is the inside or ‘medial’ part of the knee. This can be treated with resurfacing of only the arthritis part of the knee (Fig. 4, Left). Performing this operation through a subvastus approach makes the procedure less invasive. Some patients are able to go home the same day or spend only one night in the hospital.
Fig. 4. Left: Unicompartmental knee resurfacing (“UNI”), which resurfaces only the inside (medial) part of the knee; Center and Right: Patellofemoral (Kneecap) Resurfacing. This operation resurfaces the kneecap and the part of the thighbone where the knee cap slides.
Some patients have advanced knee arthritis that primarily involves the kneecap. If other treatments are ineffective, the kneecap and the part of the thigh bone where the kneecap slide (trochlea) can be resurfaced. This procedure can also be performed through the subvastus approach.
Knee procedures performed through the subvastus approach are more technically demanding than procedures performed through a conventional incision. Dr. Grimes has over 20 years experience performing subvastus minimally invasive knee procedures.
Although not all knee procedures can be performed with this approach, it offers definite advantages over more traditional incisions. Ask your doctor if a subvastus approach is right for you.