Partial Knee Replacement Surgery Could Be The Right Choice For You
If you have arthritis in your knee that limits your activities and causes pain that's difficult to control, your doctor might recommend surgery when other treatments no longer help. Knee replacement surgery can involve a total or partial knee replacement. The surgery you get depends on the condition of your knee and how the arthritis has affected it. Here is some information about the partial knee replacement procedure.
The Areas of Damage Determine Suitability
Your knee has three separate areas, which are the inside, outside, and front. Sometimes, arthritis damages the cartilage in all three sections of the knee. When this happens, a total knee replacement is necessary. If only the inside or outside cartilage is damaged, then you might be a suitable candidate for a partial knee replacement procedure. Your doctor can tell by looking at imaging tests how extensive your damage is, but it's also possible your doctor won't know for certain if you're an ideal candidate for a partial knee replacement until the surgery is underway.
An additional factor that's considered is the stability of your knee. In a total knee replacement, it's often necessary to repair the ligaments around the knee because they become unbalanced due to the changes caused by arthritis. A ligament on one side may become stretched while the ligament on the other side tightens. This causes your knee to be less stable until ligament repair is done, and that may or may not be possible with a partial knee replacement procedure.
The Advantages of Partial Knee Replacement
There are several reasons a partial knee replacement is preferred over a total knee replacement. A partial knee replacement can be performed through small incisions so your knee doesn't have to be opened up. That means you might have the surgery done in an outpatient surgery clinic rather than having to stay in the hospital. The surgery is also quicker to recover from so you can go back to work and resume your usual activities sooner. One of the main advantages of a partial knee replacement is that you keep most of the natural parts of your knee. With only a small part of the cartilage resurfaced, your knee will feel like it did when it was healthy. You'll be able to stoop, bend your knee, and participate in sports without feeling like you have a mechanical knee.
If your osteoarthritis continues to progress on other parts of your knee after you've had a partial knee replacement, a total knee replacement is still possible in the coming years if you need it. However, a partial knee replacement could be ideal for the present time if you're a suitable candidate and you want to stay active and be free from knee pain.