What Is a Partial Knee Replacement - Norton Healthcare

Aug 29, 2018
Health Equity

At Norton Community Medical Associates, we understand the impact that knee pain and joint degeneration can have on your quality of life. When conservative treatments no longer provide relief, it may be necessary to consider surgical options for your knee, such as a partial knee replacement or a total knee replacement.

The Difference Between Partial Knee Replacement and Total Knee Replacement

Partial knee replacement, also known as unicompartmental knee replacement, is a surgical procedure that involves replacing only the damaged or arthritic portion of the knee joint. This procedure is suitable for patients who have isolated damage to one compartment of the knee, typically the inside or outside portion.

In contrast, total knee replacement involves replacing the entire knee joint. This procedure is often recommended for patients who have widespread arthritis or damage throughout the knee joint. During a total knee replacement, the surgeon removes the damaged surfaces of the knee joint and replaces them with artificial components, including the femoral component, tibial component, and patellar component.

The Benefits of Partial Knee Replacement

Partial knee replacement offers several benefits compared to total knee replacement. These benefits include:

  • Preservation of Healthy Tissue: Since only the damaged portion of the knee joint is replaced, healthy bone and tissue are preserved, resulting in a more conservative surgical approach.
  • Quicker Recovery: Partial knee replacement typically requires a shorter recovery period compared to total knee replacement, allowing patients to return to their daily activities sooner.
  • Improved Range of Motion: Patients who undergo a partial knee replacement often experience improved range of motion in the affected knee joint, leading to greater mobility and function.
  • Less Invasive: The surgical approach for a partial knee replacement is less invasive than that of a total knee replacement, resulting in smaller incisions, reduced blood loss, and less post-operative pain.

The Partial Knee Replacement Procedure

The partial knee replacement procedure typically involves the following steps:

  1. Preparation: Before the surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will evaluate your knee joint using advanced imaging techniques to identify the extent of the damage and determine if you are a suitable candidate for a partial knee replacement.
  2. Anesthesia: You will be given anesthesia to ensure that you are comfortable and pain-free during the procedure. The type of anesthesia used will be discussed with you before the surgery.
  3. Incision: A small incision is made over the affected compartment of the knee joint to gain access to the damaged area.
  4. Resurfacing: The damaged cartilage and bone in the affected compartment are removed, and the surfaces are resurfaced with artificial components, restoring the smooth function of the knee joint.
  5. Closure: The incision is carefully closed with sutures or staples, and a sterile dressing is applied to protect the wound.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Following a partial knee replacement, you will typically be able to put weight on the operated leg and start walking with the help of crutches or a walker shortly after the procedure. Physical therapy will be an essential part of your recovery process to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee, improve flexibility, and regain full functionality.

Your surgeon will provide you with specific guidelines and recommendations for post-operative care, including pain management strategies, wound care instructions, and exercises to promote the healing process and optimize outcomes.

Choosing the Right Procedure for You

Deciding whether to undergo a partial knee replacement or a total knee replacement is a complex decision that should be made in collaboration with your orthopedic surgeon. Factors such as the extent of knee joint damage, your overall health, and your lifestyle goals will be taken into consideration to determine the most appropriate surgical option for you.

Trust Norton Healthcare for Your Knee Replacement Needs

At Norton Community Medical Associates, our experienced orthopedic surgeons specialize in knee replacements, including both partial knee replacements and total knee replacements. We are committed to providing personalized, high-quality care to help you regain mobility, reduce pain, and improve your overall quality of life.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the options available to you for managing your knee pain and restoring optimal function.

Brian Nguah
Helpful info on knee replacements! 🦵💪
Nov 11, 2023
Chris Lara
This article is a great resource for understanding the difference between partial and total knee replacements. 😊👍
Oct 16, 2023