Many people injure their knees for a variety of reasons. Some knee injuries cannot be easily fixed and might require knee replacement surgery that can be partial or total surgery. Partial knee replacement surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery that is used to resurface only a small section of the knee of a patient and is a popular option to total knee replacement for many patients in Provo. This type of surgery may be used as a treatment option for people with severe knee arthritis whose condition is confined to just a single area of the knee. It is designed to remove only the most damaged parts of the cartilage while leaving the healthy areas of the joint, so there is less incision required. This means that recovery time is much faster than a total knee replacement procedure.
Who Are the Best Candidates?
Partial knee replacement is best for patients with severe arthritis who have found little to no relief with non-surgical treatments such as cortisone injections, oral medications, weight loss, and strengthening exercise. However, a partial knee replacement is possible for only patients whose degenerative disease is limited in only one or two compartments of the knee. Patients with more widespread arthritis will need a total knee replacement. That said, partial knee surgery is most suitable for patients who:
- are 55 years old and below
- still have a relatively good range of motion before the surgery
- are not overweight
- are not athletes or heavy laborers
- have ligaments that are still intact
- have a minimal deformity of the knee prior to the procedure
Patients who do not meet the above criteria are unfortunately not eligible for the procedure because the surgery will most likely not be successful. Additionally, if you have significant stiffness on your knee, inflammatory arthritis, and damage to your ligaments, you are also not eligible to have the surgery.
Benefits of Partial Knee Replacement
The benefits of partial knee replacement are the following.
- Smaller incision
- Quicker recovery time
- Less possibility of blood loss
- Less time spent in the hospital
- Less pain experienced after surgery
- Return to normal activities faster
- Increased range of motion
When done on the right patients, the results of a partial knee replacement can last for a very long time. However, when done on the wrong set of patients, the results will not be a total success. They may even need to undergo a total knee replacement sometime in the future.
Possible Risks and Complications
Although rare, partial knee replacement surgery comes with certain risks and possible complications just like any other types of surgery. Some of the most common risks are the following.
- Blood clots
- Injury to vessels or nerves
- Continued pain
There is also a possible need for a more invasive procedure such as total knee replacement surgery in the future if your arthritis continues to develop in the different areas of the knee that have not been treated and replaced.
Partial knee replacement surgery may be a minimally invasive type of surgery, but it is still surgery. All types of surgery come with risks. The best way to minimize these risks is to choose the best surgeon you can possibly find. He or she must have a good record in this area of specialty. You need to trust your surgeon so that you can feel comfortable with the surgery. This will help give a more positive impact on the outcome of your surgery.