Partial knee Replacement

A Partial Knee Replacement is an alternative to total knee replacement that can be opted as a solution in younger people with knee damage. The partial knee replacement is a suitable option for around 5-6% of the population suffering from knee damage.This surgery is less complicated compared to Total Knee Replacement . The recovery is quick and painless as compared to Total Knee Replacement.

A knee is divided into three parts
  • Lateral Compartment-the outer part of knee
  • Medial Compartment-the inside part of knee
  • Patellofemoral Compartment-The area between the kneecap and thigh bone on the front side.

Osteoarthritis: It is the major cause of knee damage as it happens with growing age, hence it is also inevitable. In this type of arthritis, the articular cartilage which covers the bones of the knee joint to help in movement and remove friction; are worn off. These cartilages are made up of connective tissue and also act as shock absorbers during the movement of the knee joint. Usually people with fifty and above years are affected with this type of arthritis. When this cartilage becomes thin, it causes pain, stiffness and reduces the range of movement.

Requirements for Partial Knee Replacement: When all the non-surgical treatments fail to improve the condition of the knee joint in the patient, Surgery is suggested. A partial knee replacement is possible; only if one of the compartments must be damaged by arthritis. In case the patient is suffering from inflammatory arthritis, knee stiffness or damaged ligament, this partial replacement is not a preferred solution. Although uncommon earlier, unicompartmental surgery is a perfect long-term solution for young and older patients as well.

Once the doctor suggests the patient to see an Orthopaedic Surgeon, he does a detailed examination of various parameters before deciding for surgery as a suitable solution. Following are steps followed by the orthopaedic surgeon:
  • Physical Check-Ups: The surgeon will closely examine the knee joint and the range of movement of the knee. He will move the knee in various directions and find out which movement, in which direction causes more pain. He will check if the ligaments are worn or torn, the stiffness in the knee and pain in the knee joint.
  • Medical History: The orthopaedic surgeon takes all the details about the health and medical history of the patient; chronic ailments like BP, Diabetes; previous surgery if any and allergies etc. He prepares a detailed history of the physical condition of the patient, especially the knee joint.
  • Test & Imaging: The surgeon also asks the patient to get detailed X-rays, MRI and scans done so that he can understand and evaluate the injury and damage in the knee. These test reports enable the surgeon to study the exact location and amount of damage in the cartilages of the knee joint.

Procedure of Surgery: The patient is admitted to the hospital on the day of Surgery. An Anaesthetist discusses with the patient which type of anaesthesia is to be used.Three type anaesthesia can be used: general anaesthesia which puts the patient to sleep, Spinal, which given keeps the patient awake but body become numb below waist or Peripheral Nerve Block, which is a regional anaesthesia and is used to numb a specific area of human body. The surgeon, anaesthesia specialist, and the patient together decide which option is most suitable.

The surgeon then starts with the small incision. He confirms that the cartilage damage is only in one compartment and the ligament is in full shape. The surgery consists of three major steps:
  • The surgeon removes cartilage from the damaged compartment.
  • The prosthetic parts made of metal are placed at the original location with the help of cement.
  • The surgeon then places a plastic spacer which makes up the gliding surface.
The patient is then shifted to the Recovery room and kept under observation till the patient recovers from the effect of anaesthesia. Later on the patient is shifted to the hospital room from where he is discharged on the same day or next day.
Recovery: Here are the few steps that are taken post recovery to make sure the knee joint heals properly.
  • The first and foremost thing that needs to be taken care of is pain. The surgeon, doctors take utmost care to help the patient manage his pain after surgery. NSAIDs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroidal medicines, local anaesthetic, opioids or a combination of these are used to reduce the pain and swelling.
  • Weight Management: After the partial knee replacement surgery, the patient is asked immediately to put weight on the knee, that is to walk using support from nurses and hospital staff. Under the observation of the surgeon, the patient will be asked to move a few steps with support. Later on he can move using a walker, cane, stick, or crutches for a few weeks before walking on his own.
  • Physiotherapy: The patient is required to go under supervised physiotherapy with a well-experienced physiotherapist. He will help the patient to gradually increase the range of movements along with managing pain.
  • Medical Check-Ups: The patient is supposed to visit his surgeon on a regular basis for a few months to make sure the recovery is taking place at a good pace.

The patient to get back to his daily routine and activities in six months

Advantages of Partial Knee Replacement over Total Knee Replacement–

A Partial Knee Replacement is a better solution than a Total Knee Replacement because it preserves natural parts of the knee joint. Hence the knee has better recovery and range of functions post surgery. Also the Partial Knee Replacement Surgery is not that complicated, with less blood loss during the procedure. Also if the damaged knee does not improve on partial replacement, the patient can go for Total Replacement Surgery.

The team at The Cruciates has well experienced and trained doctors and surgeons who can guide with proper decision making about your knee injury. Also if you are looking for a suitable orthopaedic surgeon for Total or Partial Knee Replacement, you can connect to us by clicking on the link…or call us 24×7 on the number

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