Partial Knee Replacement

Partial Knee Replacement is surgery to replace only one part of a damaged knee. It can replace either the inside (medial) part, the outside (lateral) part, or the kneecap. Patients with osteoarthritis that is limited to just one part of the knee may be candidates for partial knee replacement.

In partial knee replacement, only part of the knee is replaced with metal and plastic. The healthy cartilage and bone in the rest of the knee is left alone.

In order to be a candidate for this procedure, your arthritis must be limited to one compartment of your knee. Patients with inflammatory arthritis, significant knee stiffness, or ligament damage may not be ideal candidates. Your surgeon will help you determine if this procedure is suited for you.

The Procedure

If your knee is suitable for a partial knee replacement, your surgeon will remove the cartilage from the damaged compartment of your knee and will cap the ends of the femur and tibia with metal coverings. The metal components are generally held to the bone with cement. A plastic insert is placed between the two metal components to allow for a smooth gliding surface.

After The Procedure

Patients usually experience less postoperative pain, less swelling, and have easier rehabilitation than patients undergoing total knee replacement. You will most likely resume your regular activities of daily living by 6 weeks after surgery. Research shows that a partial knee replacement can last just as long as a total knee replacement, and can be revised to a total knee replacement in the future if necessary.

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