When it comes to partial or complete knee replacement surgery, one size certainly does not fit all. Your knees are the largest joints in your entire body. And because of the complex nature of the knee (the knee contains compartments, cartilage, tendons, nerves, blood vessels and tissues held in place by bones and ligaments), knees are especially vulnerable to damage caused by daily wear and tear, as well as injuries and disease.
Partial and complete knee replacement procedures focus on restoring function, range of motion, along with reducing or eliminating pain. From a surgical standpoint, though, it has been much more straightforward to perform a complete knee joint replacement rather than a partial (which requires splicing in specific knee components to replace only the damaged areas).
New technology such as image guided procedures and sophisticated replacement parts, however, now allow more patients to only replace what cannot be repaired. Many patients, for instance, only need one of the three compartments of the knee replaced.
Before recommending surgery, your doctor is likely to offer other non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy, medications, bracing or joint injections to reduce inflammation and pain. If these are not effective, your doctor may recommend either a partial or complete knee replacement to help restore normal function for one or both of your knees.
When considering which treatment is right for you, your doctor will consider both the degree and specific location of the damage. He or she will likely order X-rays or other imaging studies to determine if cartilage has become significantly worn away. In many cases of osteoarthritis, patients may benefit from a partial knee replacement where the worn out cartilage is removed and replaced by a metal cap and durable plastic liner.
Partial versus Complete Replacement
Many patients find that a partial knee replacement is all they need. Recovery time for a partial knee replacement is usually shorter and includes less discomfort. While the speed of healing does vary, most patients are able to put weight on their knee immediately after surgery, and return to the daily activities they enjoy with little to no pain within weeks of the procedure. Some patients though, will require a total knee replacement instead of a partial in order to reduce pain, restore function, or improve the overall quality of their lives.
Only a qualified orthopedic surgeon can advise you about which procedure is right for you. Regardless of which procedure you undergo, when it comes to knee replacement surgery, you want only the best of the best. At Orthopaedic Associates, our highly skilled, compassionate physicians have the extensive training and experience needed to get you back on track. We focus on providing conservative, minimally invasive joint replacement procedures to reduce pain, lower downtime and risk, and restore as much natural function as possible.
If you or a loved one needs a partial or complete knee replacement in Cleveland, Ohio, please contact Orthopaedic Associates at (440) 892-1440 to schedule an appointment with one of our highly qualified Orthopaedic Physicians. Every age, every bone, Orthopedic Associates.