Knee surgery is not something to be taken lightly. Arthritis of the knee is unfortunately common, and there is no cure. But many people treat the pain with medication or other conservative methods. When these treatments are no longer effective and the pain progresses to the point that it interferes with mobility and regular activities, it may be time to consider a surgical procedure. While knee replacement surgery has been performed successfully for more than three decades, there are advances in knee surgery that may improve outcomes, and result in even more satisfied patients.
Total knee replacement surgery, or knee arthroplasty, is the traditional method of surgical replacement of the damaged parts of the joint with an implant or prosthetic, that functions in a similar way to the knee you were born with. The ends of the bones that make up the knee joint can become damaged over time, as the protective cartilage within the joint wears away. This can be very painful. Bone spurs can develop from the friction and pressure of your weight. Knee replacement involves a large, open incision to cut away the cartilage and damaged bone. The ends of the bones are covered with smooth prosthetics that meet in a joint made from metal or ceramic, and a plastic called polyethylene.
Knee replacement surgery is one of the most successful orthopedic procedures ever. The vast majority of surgeries are successful with most patients reporting satisfaction with their reduced or eliminated pain and improved mobility following the procedure. Rehabilitation and recovery are much improved as technology and pain management techniques have advanced.
Partial knee replacement
Partial knee replacement (unicompartmental) is a relatively new procedure that is minimally invasive and allows the patient to retain the undamaged portion of the knee. The damaged part of the knee is removed and resurfaced with a prosthetic. Keeping the undamaged part of the knee helps it feel more natural when the patient has recovered. There is the possibility that additional surgery will be required down the road if the unoperated portion of the knee develops severe arthritis.
Minimally-invasive knee replacement
Minimally-invasive total knee replacement has been developed in the past few years. It could change the way severe degenerative arthritis is treated and how the replaced joint feels and functions. One procedure is called quadriceps-sparing knee replacement, as it leaves the quadriceps intact by means of smaller strategically placed incisions used to perform the surgery. This results in a shorter recovery time, with the patient able to walk well more quickly, and it may reduce post-operative pain. Another new technique involves a prosthetic that allows the surgeon to preserve the patient’s knee tendons (ACL). The whole joint is replaced, but with the ACL intact. This allows the knee to feel more natural and function more like it did before it was damaged.
In the Cleveland, Ohio area, the board-certified surgeons of Orthopaedic Associates are experts in treating knee conditions of all kinds. We have two locations in Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties: Westlake, and Avon. If you are living in pain, trust the orthopaedic specialists to get you back on your feet. Call today at (440) 892-1440.