Knee replacements have given millions of Americans a new outlook on life, enabling them to return to the activities they love. It’s one of the most innovative, successful procedures in medical history.
Our Raleigh knee surgeons have performed more knee replacements than any other group in the Triangle area. It’s always rewarding to watch our patients retain their functionality, enabling them to once again participate in their favorite sports or hobbies.
We’ll examine some aspects of this procedure in greater detail, including how to know if you need a knee replacement and what happens during partial knee replacement surgery.
What is the Difference Between a Total and Partial Knee Replacement?
A partial knee replacement occurs when only a portion of the knee is resurfaced, replacing damaged cartilage with metal and plastic components. It’s an ideal solution when the damage is limited to a particular area of the knee. You may also hear this procedure referred to as a “unicompartmental knee replacement.”
In a total knee replacement, the entire joint is removed and replaced with an artificial one.
What are the Advantages of a Partial Knee Surgery?
There are several advantages to this type of surgery, including:
- Smaller incisions
- Faster recovery
- Less time in the hospital
- A quicker return to regular activities
Why Would You Need a Partial Knee Replacement?
Most candidates come to our knee replacement surgeons as a result of osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. This condition occurs when the cartilage in the knee starts to wear away. This cartilage is vital for cushioning the ends of your bones, and when it is damaged, it causes pain and stiffness that makes it difficult to complete everyday activities.
If not treated in a timely manner, the pain can become worse as the damage continues.
Sometimes, non-surgical treatments such as medication or corticosteroid injections can reduce the pain. Physical therapy may also help.
However, when these measures are not successful, a knee replacement surgery or partial knee replacement may be in order.
Who Is a Candidate for a Partial Knee Replacement?
The key in determining whether or not you’re a candidate depends upon the extent of the arthritic damage to your joint. For a partial replacement, the arthritis must be limited to a certain area.
To be eligible, you can NOT have any of the following conditions:
- Extensive stiffness in your knee
- Damaged ligaments
- Inflammatory arthritis
Not sure if you’re a candidate? Don’t worry. We will work with you to determine if surgery is a good option for you or if you would be best served through nonsurgical techniques. We recognize that each patient is different, and that’s why we’re dedicated to creating an approach perfectly tailored to your needs.
What Happens During a Partial Knee Replacement?
Once one of our knee surgeons in Raleigh has pinpointed the exact compartment of the knee that has been damaged, we’ll start creating a surgical plan.
Typically, the procedure takes from 1 to 2 hours. You’ll be under general anesthesia, meaning you will be “asleep” for the surgery.
Our knee surgeon will make a small incision and then use specialized surgical saws to remove damaged cartilage from your knee. It’s then replaced with metal coverages that will recreate the joint’s surface. Our knee surgeons use a special type of surgical cement to adhere the metal to the bone.
Afterward, a spacer is inserted. Its purpose is to ensure there is a smooth surface around the metal components. This enables the knee to glide effortlessly.
Raleigh Bone and Joint Surgery Clinic: The Treatment You Need with the Compassionate Care You Deserve
Not everyone who has osteoarthritis of the knee will need a knee replacement. Often, we can provide solutions through nonsurgical treatment. However, if you do need a total or partial knee replacement, we will create a detailed care plan for your surgery and recovery.
For decades, we’ve been the leading orthopedic practice in the Triangle area—and one of the few that are independent and community-based.
We believe patient choice is important, and that’s why our knee surgeons are affiliated with 5 local hospitals and outpatient surgery centers. This provides our patients with options of where they would like to receive their care.
We would welcome the opportunity to help you get back to the life you love. Please contact us for an appointment.