Knee replacement surgery is one of the most common joint replacement procedures in the United States, with approximately seven hundred thousand procedures performed each year. The knee is one of the most stressed joints in the body, making it particularly susceptible to wear-and-tear type injuries.
Anatomy of the Knee
The knee is a very complex joint. It consists of bone, ligaments and cartilage. The thighbone (femur), shinbone (tibia) and the knee cap (patella) make up the bones of the knee, and the knee joint keeps these bones in their place, so they can function correctly. Ligaments are the strap-like tissues that surround the bones and connect them to each other to keep the knee stable. The tendons attach the muscles to the bones. The knee joint not only supports the weight of your body, but it is responsible for all kinds of movement, including jumping and walking.
Knee problems are not always associated with the bone, but also the ligaments, tendons, or cartilage. Symptoms of a knee condition can include pain (which can sometimes be a sharp pain), a dull ache, inability to put weight on your knee, stiffness, instability, swelling, a burning sensation, or bruising.
Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, replaces all or part of the knee joint with artificial parts depending on the extent of the damage in the knee. Knee surgery may be performed in a minimally invasive manner which helps to reduce post-operative pain and recovery time.
Partial Knee Replacement
Also known as a unicompartmental knee replacement, a partial knee replacement procedure involves removing damaged tissue, resurfacing existing areas, and surgically implanting artificial parts into the affected compartment(s) of the knee.
There are three main areas of the knee joint where problems can commonly occur:
- Lateral compartment (outer half of the joint)
- Medial compartment (inner half of the joint)
- Patellofemoral compartment (front of the joint, between kneecap, and thighbone)
When damage only affects one or two compartments of the knee, a partial knee replacement may be recommended. A partial knee replacement is usually carried out as an outpatient procedure, meaning a stay in hospital may be avoided.
Because a partial knee replacement is done through a smaller incision, the recovery period is generally shorter than with a total knee replacement. Most patients can put weight on their knee soon after surgery, but a walking aid will most likely be necessary for at least a few weeks until your knee heals.
Recovery can take a few weeks. Most patients who have a partial knee replacement recover quicker, have shorter healing times, lose less blood during surgery, and experience less pain than patients who have a total knee replacement.
Total Knee Replacement
A total knee replacement involves all weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint being replaced with artificial components. It is often recommended for patients who are unable to move the joint without severe pain, for those with knee pain even when the joint is at rest, and for whom other treatments have not been successful. Total knee replacement is recommended for patients who have severe damage in the knee that cannot be fixed or treated through other means. Unlike with a partial knee replacement, a total knee replacement involves replacing all parts of the joint, making it an extensive surgery.
A total knee replacement is an in-patient procedure and may require you to stay in a hospital for a few days after surgery. A walker or crutches will be required while standing and walking. Recovery can take a several weeks to months.
Knee Replacement Procedures in Naples, Florida
If you’re suffering from acute or chronic knee pain, contact the orthopedic specialists at the Joint Replacement Institute.
At the Joint Replacement Institute, we are committed to providing top-of-the-line orthopedic care combined with personalized attention. Our orthopedic surgeons carry out a variety of procedures, including knee replacement procedures. We also offer services including physical therapy, sports medicine, diagnostic imaging and pain management.
To make an appointment, please call (239) 261-2663. You can also request an appointment online.