Dr. Tehrany explains: What is a partial knee replacement?
For most people who experience knee pain, ordinary daily activities may be challenging to perform. Depending on the severity of the knee injury or condition, knee pain can inhibit an otherwise active lifestyle. Dr. Tehrany believes that conservative treatment options can often provide relief and should always be a first resort before opting for surgery. However, in some patients, knee surgery may be the only solution to provide long-term results.When recommending knee surgery as a treatment option, there are several aspects to take into consideration. The source of the knee pain is the most important one.For patients who experience knee pain despite taking precautions and prevention, partial knee replacement can be the best solution. Moreover, it can be a great alternative to a full knee replacement in patients suffering from osteoarthritis.Opposite to full knee replacement, in partial knee replacement, the surgeon removes only the severely injured knee parts and adds new high-grade replacements made of either plastic or metal.By keeping healthy parts of the knee intact, this knee procedure results in a more natural feeling knee post-surgery. Additionally, people experience less downtime from this procedure, with results comparable to a full knee replacement.Depending on the location of the injury, the orthopedic doctor may recommend one of three options for partial knee replacement:
Unicompartmental Partial Knee Replacement when the damage is on one of three knee compartments
Bicompartmental Partial Knee Replacement when the surgeon needs to remove portions of the kneecap and inner compartments of the knee
Patellofemoral Partial Knee Replacement in response to natural degeneration or arthritis in the kneecap.
Who is a good candidate for a partial knee replacement?
An experienced knee surgeon can quickly determine whether the patient is a good candidate for this surgery. However, there are some general requirements to note before considering partial knee replacement as an option.First, the cartilage in a prospective candidate’s knee should be moderately healthy. Additionally, the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL should be intact. Lastly, there can be no significant stiffness or angular deformities in the knee.Age also plays a role in the suitability of this option. Historically, mostly older adults underwent a partial knee replacement. Today, it is a viable option for younger adults too.Dr. Armin Tehrany believes it can be a good option for those experiencing increasing pain from past injuries.
“For young patients who have failed conservative treatment and arthroscopic surgery but are not ready for a total knee replacement, this can be an excellent alternative.”
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