Arthritis in the knee can cause pain and make everyday activities more difficult. There are a range of treatment options, but if the arthritis is limited to just one area of the knee, a partial knee replacement is a minimally invasive option to consider. Partial knee replacement is also called a unicompartmental knee replacement and essentially means that only a portion of the knee is replaced or resurfaced.
Partial knee replacement is a surgery that replaces only one of the parts of the knee. Your knee is divided into three major compartments:
- Medial (the inside part)
- Lateral (the outside part)
- Patellofemoral (the front of the knee)
This procedure uses smaller incisions to remove the damaged tissue and bone in the knee joint. The areas are replaced with a prosthetic or resurfaced, which leaves healthy parts of the joint preserved. Because only the damaged compartment is replaced, the healthy cartilage and bone in the rest of the knee are left alone. This means that a patient will usually spend less time recovering and return to normal activities sooner than with a total knee replacement.
If your knee pain continues after taking anti-inflammatories, maintaining a healthy weight, and trying other non-surgical treatments, you may want to consider a partial knee replacement. What are some of the benefits of a partial knee replacement over total knee replacement?
- Recovering more quickly
- Less pain during recovery
- Can feel more natural than a total knee replacement
- Less blood and bone loss
- Smaller scar
A few of the important considerations for whether you may be a good candidate include having an intact ACL, a sufficient range of knee motion, damage to only one compartment, and a stable knee. The minimally invasive partial knee replacement is ideal for patients with severe arthritis of the knee that have not found relief with standard non-surgical treatments. A thorough evaluation with an orthopedic surgeon will ultimately determine whether you are a good candidate for a partial knee replacement.
Recovery from a partial knee replacement takes approximately six weeks, including rehabilitation exercises to help maintain your range of motion and restore your strength. You will begin putting weight on your knee immediately after surgery and may need a walker, cane, or crutches until you become comfortable enough to walk. During this time, you will also continue to see your orthopedic surgeon for follow-up visits.
If you have joint pain or arthritis and want to return to your active lifestyle, we are here to help. Our specialists work with you to diagnose, treat, and answer your questions and get you back to doing the things you love. It’s quality of life! Request an appointment online with Miller Ortho or call us at 712-323-5333.