The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Mini-incision surgery for total knee replacement.

It replaces the previous guidance on Mini-incision surgery for total knee replacement (NICE interventional procedures guidance 117, September 2004).

Description

The most common indication for a total knee replacement is osteoarthritis of the knee joint. The mini-incision total knee replacement involves an incision 10 to 12 cm long over the knee, compared with the conventional total knee replacement which requires an incision 20 to 30 cm long. The same prostheses are inserted using specially designed instruments.

Coding recommendations

W40.- Total prosthetic replacement of knee joint using cement

or

W41.- Total prosthetic replacement of knee joint not using cement

or

W42.- Other total prosthetic replacement of knee joint

The NHS Classifications Service has advised NICE that currently these are the most suitable OPCS-4 codes to describe this procedure. The OPCS-4 classification is designed to categorise procedures for analysis and it is not always possible to identify a procedure uniquely.

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