Who Is a Candidate for Partial Knee Replacement?
Knee pain can significantly affect a person’s quality of life, limiting their ability to perform daily activities and impacting their overall mobility. When conservative treatments fail to provide relief, knee replacement surgery may be considered. While total knee replacement is a common procedure, partial knee replacement is a less invasive alternative that offers several benefits. In this article, we will explore who is a candidate for partial knee replacement and answer some common questions related to the procedure.
Partial knee replacement, also known as unicompartmental knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves replacing only the damaged part of the knee joint with an artificial implant. This surgery is typically recommended for individuals who have osteoarthritis or other degenerative conditions that affect only one compartment of the knee.
So, who is a candidate for partial knee replacement? Here are some factors that may indicate a person’s suitability for this procedure:
1. Limited knee pain: Patients experiencing pain primarily in one compartment of the knee may be eligible for partial knee replacement.
2. Minimal deformity: If the knee deformity is limited to one compartment, partial knee replacement may be an option.
3. Good overall health: Candidates should be in good general health and free from any underlying medical conditions that may complicate the surgery.
4. Good bone quality: Sufficient bone density and quality are necessary to ensure the successful implantation of the artificial joint.
5. Age: Partial knee replacement is often recommended for younger patients with localized knee damage, as it preserves healthy bone and tissue.
6. Active lifestyle: Candidates who desire to maintain an active lifestyle and participate in physical activities such as running or playing sports may benefit from partial knee replacement.
Now, let’s address some common questions related to partial knee replacement:
1. Is partial knee replacement a major surgery?
Yes, partial knee replacement is considered a major surgery, although it is less invasive than total knee replacement.
2. How long does the surgery take?
The surgery typically takes around one to two hours.
3. What is the recovery time after partial knee replacement?
Recovery time varies, but most patients can resume their normal activities within six weeks.
4. Will I have a scar after surgery?
Yes, you will have a scar, but it will be smaller compared to total knee replacement.
5. Can I walk immediately after surgery?
Most patients are encouraged to walk with the help of crutches or a walker the day after surgery.
6. Will I experience pain after the surgery?
Pain is normal after surgery, but it can be managed with medication prescribed your surgeon.
7. How long will the implant last?
The longevity of the implant depends on various factors, but it can last up to 15-20 years.
8. Can I participate in sports after partial knee replacement?
Yes, many patients can return to low-impact activities and sports after a successful recovery.
9. Will I need physical therapy after surgery?
Yes, physical therapy is an essential part of the recovery process to help restore strength and mobility.
10. Will I regain full range of motion in my knee?
While most patients experience significant improvement in their range of motion, full restoration may vary.
11. Can I drive after partial knee replacement surgery?
Driving is typically permitted once you are off pain medications and have regained sufficient strength and mobility.
12. Are there any risks or complications associated with the surgery?
As with any surgery, there are risks involved, including infection, blood clots, and nerve damage. However, these risks are relatively low.
13. Can the other compartments of my knee deteriorate after partial knee replacement?
While it is possible for other compartments to deteriorate over time, partial knee replacement can delay the need for further surgery.
14. How do I know if partial knee replacement is right for me?
Consult with an orthopedic surgeon who can evaluate your specific condition and recommend the most suitable treatment option.
Remember, only a qualified orthopedic surgeon can determine if you are a candidate for partial knee replacement. If you are experiencing knee pain or have been diagnosed with localized knee damage, consult with a healthcare professional to discuss your options and find the best solution to alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life.