Partial knee replacement, also referred as uni-compartmental knee replacement, is a surgical approach to cure severe arthritis of knee. Earlier, almost every patient suffering from arthritis went for total knee replacement; wherein the entire portion of infected cartilage along with a layer of functional one is carved off the knee and replaced with metal and plastic implants.
But in case of partial knee replacement, only the infected portion of the knee is removed and resurfaced. It is ideal for those patients whose osteoarthritis is restricted to single compartment.
Structure of the knee
Need of knee surgery arises when the cartilage protecting the knee wears off gradually. This can be observed either in the entire knee joint or merely in single area. The knee is comprised of three major compartments, namely:
- Lateral compartment, which is the outer part
- Medial compartment, which is the inside of the knee
- Patellofemoral compartment, between kneecap and thighbone
How diagnosis is carried out?
The doctor estimates the extent of damage of bones and cartilage either by X-rays or Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
How partial knee replacement is carried out?
In this surgical approach, the surgeon diagnoses each bone and observes the limit of the osteoarthritis; and replaces the damaged compartment with plastic or metal implant called prosthetic, which can mimic the natural movements up to a large extent. The partial knee replacement aims to restore as much as healthy bones and cartilage as possible.
Advantages of partial knee replacement over total knee replacement
Partial knee replacement is gaining popularity among doctors and patients because of the numerous benefits it offers. Due to smaller incision, the patient needs shorter hospital stay and experiences lesser pain after surgery. The recovery period becomes comparatively faster. Since a large extent of healthy bones and cartilage is left intact, the patients experience more natural movement of knee as compared to total knee replacement.
Ideal candidate for partial knee replacement
As per doctors of ILS Hospitals, if an individual is suffering from osteoarthritis and no other medical treatment is helping to soothe the pain, then this orthopedic replacement can be considered as the ideal solution. In order to qualify for it, the arthritis must be finite to only one compartment. If a patient is suffering from knee stiffness and ligament damage, they can also be considered for this treatment.
With proper diagnosis and treatment, partial knee replacement demonstrates successful and long lasting result for patients of several age groups.