What is the difference between partial and total knee replacement?
Total or partial knee arthroplasty involves the repair and replacement of the natural components that make up your knee, which wear down and are damaged over time. These components are removed and artificial components take their place during surgery.
Partial knee replacement utilizes a minimally invasive approach (employing a smaller incision and less disruption) when compared to traditional total knee replacements. During a total knee replacement, patients have all cartilage in the knee removed and replaced by metal or plastic components. In a partial replacement, only the most damaged elements in your knee are removed and replaced by metal or plastic components. The healthy, functional elements of the joint are left remaining intact.
A Campbell Clinic orthopaedic surgeon will conduct the following steps to determine if partial or total knee replacement is right for you:
- Review your medical history and evaluate previous methods of treatment
- Perform a physical examination to determine the severity of your knee’s deterioration
- Study your X-rays
Dependent on these factors, the surgeon will determine if you are a candidate for a partial knee replacement. For some patients, this less-invasive approach is appropriate. For others, who have more severely diseased or advanced degeneration in the joint, a total knee replacement is the better option.
Why choose a partial knee replacement?
Many people have knees that only have arthritis in one part of their knee. Therefore, the whole knee does not need to be replaced. In most cases, partial knee patients recover faster, have less pain, require less postoperative rehab and have a more normal-feeling knee after the procedure.
Through advances in pain-control technology and specialized medical staff, partial knee replacement at a Campbell Clinic surgery center has been performed successfully in an outpatient setting for nearly a decade.
Partial knee replacement utilizes a minimally invasive approach (employing a smaller incision and less disruption) when compared to traditional total knee replacements.
Why choose a total knee replacement?
The basic reason for total knee replacement surgery is to repair advanced joint damage caused by osteoarthritis – the wearing away or disease of most of the structural elements of your knee joint. People who need knee replacement surgery usually have problems walking, standing up, participating in light exercise or climbing stairs. They may also experience significant discomfort, even at rest. A total knee replacement is better for a patient who has more total or comprehensive wear and tear in bones and cartilage that make up the knee.