Partial Knee Replacement
Partial knee replacement surgery is typically performed if you are suffering from severe arthritis or deterioration of the knee causing chronic pain. While a total knee replacement removes complete segments of the knee, a partial knee replacement only reconstructs the sections impacted by arthritis. The first course of action will typically involve the use of non-surgical options such as physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce pain in the knee. However, if these methods are unsuccessful, partial knee replacement will be proposed to eliminate knee pain allowing you to return to your normal, active lifestyle.
Your South Florida Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine surgeon will make a small incision in the knee above the affected area. By removing a smaller segment of the knee and replacing it with metal and plastic hardware, this procedure is able to reduce recovery time (when compared to a total knee replacement) and alleviate pain.
In some cases, partial knee replacement can be an outpatient surgery allowing the you to recover at home with the help of a physical therapist. A majority of patients experience improved mobility and significant improvements in the pain associated with arthritis of the knee.
Partial Knee Replacement Surgery
With arthritis of the knee, a partial knee replacement is typically recommended when non-surgical options have been unsuccessful. Partial knee replacement has the potential to be an outpatient surgery because it is less invasive, meaning you may be able to return home the same day as the procedure.
The surgeon will make a small Incision in the knee to access the impacted area. The arthritic segments of the femur (thighbone) and meniscus (cartilage between the thighbone and shinbone) will be removed along with some of the tibia (shinbone). Metal hardware is installed based on the side of the segment removed. Finally, plastic piece is inserted between the metal hardware to allow for a smooth range of motion and reduce wear on the hardware.
Partial knee replacement can prevent the spread of arthritis and has the potential to decrease the need for a total knee replacement in the future. In a majority of cases, the pain and pressure associated with arthritis decreases and mobility improves.
After Partial Knee Replacement Surgery
Before surgery, a physical therapist will assist in the preparation of your home for a successful recovery. Immediately following the surgery, a physical therapist will usually accompany you home to help with initial recovery and monitor your progress. Further physical therapy will be necessary throughout the healing process to rebuild muscle strength, which, in some cases, can be done at home. As each treatment plan is different, you may require treatment at a physical therapy facility to assist in a full recovery.
Results of Partial Knee Replacement Surgery
For the initial recovery period, a cane, walker, or crutches will be necessary to transition back into applying regular pressure to the knee. Depending on the healing progress, you may be able to begin walking normally within two to three weeks of the surgery and soon after, resume normal activity level.