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167The Latest Advancements in Knee Replacement Surgery: Partial Knee Replacement

Knee problems account for more than 19 million physician visits each year. In fact, it is the most common reason for seeing an orthopedic surgeon. Significant advances in surgical treatment, including minimally invasive advanced procedures can reduce pain and disability associated with osteoarthritis.

“The goal of any knee replacement surgery is to decrease pain and restore function,” said Dr. Rajeev Puri, Orthopedic Surgeon with OAK Orthopedics.

Although total knee replacement (also called “arthroplasty”) is an excellent option for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, other surgical options exist. Patients with osteoarthritis that is limited to just one part of the knee may be candidates for unicompartmental knee replacement (also called a “partial” knee replacement).

In a unicompartmental knee replacement, only the damaged compartment is replaced with metal and plastic. Throught this minimally invasive, advanced surgical technique, the healthy cartilage and bone in the rest of the knee is left alone.

The advantages of partial knee replacement over total knee replacement include:

  • Quicker recovery
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Less blood loss

Also, because the bone, cartilage and ligaments in the healthy parts of the knee are kept, most patients report an unicompartmental knee replacement feels more “natural” than a total knee replacement. An unicompartmental knee may also bend better.

Potential disadvantages of partial knee replacement:

The disadvantages of partial knee replacement compared with total knee replacement include slightly less predictable pain relief, and the potential need for more surgery.

For example, a total knee replacement may be necessary in the future if arthritis develops in the parts of the knee that have not been replaced.

For more information about Riverside Healthcare and OAK Orthopedics nationally recognized orthopedic surgery program, visit RiversideHealthcare.org. Sources include the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.