Partial Knee Replacement Overview

Your knees are an integral part of everyday movements like standing, walking and climbing stairs. While in most cases they perform admirably well, the constant stress can result in damage to the joints. Without treatment, it will gradually worsen to the point where it affects your quality of life.knee replacement

If your knee doesn’t respond to non-invasive treatments, your orthopedic doctor may recommend a partial knee replacement. Here is a closer look at what takes place in this sophisticated surgery technique.

Difference between “total” and “partial”

As the name implies, total knee replacement involves the entire joint. Partial knee replacement, also referred to as “unicompartmental,” affects only one part of the joint. The three compartments are inside (medial), outside (lateral), and front (patellofemeral).

Who is a candidate?

Surgery is considered only when all non-invasive treatments have been exhausted and the pain interferes with everyday activities. Partial replacement is an option when damage is limited to just one of the three different compartments.

Steps of the surgical procedure

After making an incision in the front of your knee, the surgeon will confirm that the damage is in only one compartment. He will then remove the cartilage in the corresponding compartment and fasten metal coverings to the ends of the femur and tibia, the bones in your upper and lower leg. Finally, a plastic insert is placed between the two bones which restores smooth movement.

Advantages of partial knee replacement

Since the procedure is less extensive, recovery from partial replacement is generally quicker and involves less pain than total replacement. Most of the original joint is retained, so many patients report that it still has a natural feel.

While much will depend on your individual case, partial knee replacements are expected to last approximately 10 years. If you do need a total replacement down the road, studies have shown a high success rate for the second surgery.

Our orthopedic surgeons use state-of-the-art partial knee replacement techniques such as MAKOplasty and Oxford. Contact us for a consultation to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure.

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