Do you have chronic joint pain, stiffness, and swelling that isn’t responding to other treatments? Partial knee replacement surgery may be the solution for you.
Also called unicompartmental knee replacement, this surgical procedure can help those with arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases. When only one knee compartment is affected, this less invasive approach preserves the other healthy tissues.
Read on to learn who is a good candidate for this procedure.
Benefits Of Partial Knee Replacement
In a partial knee replacement, only the affected portion of the joint gets replaced with a prosthesis. Its advantages over a traditional total knee replacement include less pain, shorter recovery time, and improved range of motion.
Gaining a more natural range of motion enables patients to return to normal activities with ease. Most importantly, you will benefit from less time away from work or other obligations.
Previously, this type of surgery was reserved for those of advanced age, as they typically have fewer physical activities. Today, even young individuals can enjoy the benefits of this procedure.
Who Is An Ideal Candidate For Partial Knee Replacement?
A surgeon can help determine if someone is a good candidate for this surgery, as it depends on individual circumstances. However, the procedure should be a primary consideration for:
- Those who have tried conservative treatments with no success
- Those with arthritis that affects only one part of the knee
Classic indications for candidacy for this type of surgery involve factors such as:
- Being less than 60 years old
- Being at a healthy weight
- Maintaining a low level of physical activity
- Relatively good state of the knee (intact ligaments, minimal pain at rest, etc.)
- Not having inflammatory arthritis or significant knee stiffness
Improvements in surgical techniques over time have led to surgeons revisiting these indications. Morbidly obese patients are said to be more likely to undergo revision surgery compared to those with normal weight. Being obese alone, however, does not necessarily lead to more complications. Nor does it automatically result in inferior clinical and functional outcomes for the patient. Thus, the orthopedic surgeon and the patient together will determine if partial knee replacement is the best action.
This is a more relaxed criterion that focuses on the specific problem. Examples are anteromedial osteoarthritis or avascular osteonecrosis of the knee.
This refers to a specific pattern of osteoarthritis where there is bone-on-bone wear in the knee’s inner part. However, the anterior cruciate (ACL) and medial collateral ligaments (MCL) are functionally intact.
A loss of blood supply to the bone causes tissues to die, resulting in a joint collapse.
These two conditions can cause pain and difficulty with movement. Partial knee replacement is often recommended as a treatment option for both.
Using the Oxford Criteria, an orthopedic specialist will not look at factors like age, weight, or activity level. The only strict contraindications for partial knee replacement are:
- Active infection
- Inflammatory disease
- A history of high tibial osteotomy, a type of surgery that involves cutting the shinbone (tibia)
Using the traditional criteria, only a few patients are eligible for partial knee replacement. However, using the more relaxed Oxford criteria, up to 50% of patients can be candidates.
Most appropriate candidates for partial knee replacement have good results with this procedure. Still, the patient and surgeon make the final decision on whether this surgery is the best option.
Partial Knee Replacement in Naples, FL
Partial knee replacement is a good choice for patients over 40 years old and who meet other eligibility criteria. Included are those with a good range of motion before surgery and little pain at rest. This operation is less invasive than a total knee replacement and is often favored for older patients. Six weeks after the surgery, patients can typically return to their normal daily activities. Consult an orthopedic surgeon to discuss the benefits and risks before deciding.
Here at the Joint Replacement Institute, we know how crucial it is to get back on your feet after surgery. Our highly qualified orthopedic specialists can help you prepare for, undergo, and recover from partial knee replacement. Using the most advanced surgical techniques, they have repeatedly done this procedure over the years — with great success. We’re here to support you throughout the entire knee replacement process.
Would you like to schedule an appointment with one of our expert knee surgeons or find out what surgical options are available? Call our staff at (239) 261-2663 or use our online appointment request form.