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EDUCATION CENTER: Therapies

Repicci II

Overview
Repicci II, or mini-knee replacement, is surgery to correct osteoarthritis of the knee. Repicci II is used instead of total knee replacement in patients with a healthy patella and tibial surface. This procedure leaves a smaller incision than total knee replacement (three inches instead of eight) and requires a shorter hospital stay. Also, in traditional knee replacement therapy, surgeons sometimes inadvertently removed healthy, non-arthritic tissue, which leads to a longer recovery time. Repicci II actually requires the surgeon to remove less bone off the knee surfaces, which means that future total knee replacement procedures can be performed easily if necessary.

Detailed Description
Specialist
Orthopedic surgeon

Procedure
The surgeon uses an arthroscope to determine that healthy meniscus tissue exists on the opposite side of the arthritic portion of the knee joint. Next, a portion of the femoral bone is cut to expose the top of the tibia. The surgeon removes the damaged cartilage and meniscus. The top of the tibia is reconditioned and the surface is filled with cement to accommodate the new polyethylene tibial component. Then the surgeon drills a hole in the femur and fills it with cement to fit the new, highly polished, chrome-cobalt superalloy femoral component. The new knee joint that now exists is tested with bending and flexing motions.

Recovery
The patient generally stays only 24 hours in the hospital. Patients usually can walk the hallways on the same day as surgery. Most patients resume driving and normal activities two weeks after surgery. Rehabilitation is minimal compared to total knee replacement.

Complications/Risks
Repicci II carries the same risks as other open surgeries, such as blood loss or infection.

Medications
Pain medication may be required.

See Your Doctor If
You fail to recover two weeks after surgery.

Last updated: 26-Oct-01


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