Knee replacement is one of the most common joint replacement surgeries available today, and surgical techniques are only helping make the procedure simpler and safer. When you imagine a knee replacement operation, you probably imagine the whole joint being replaced, but there’s also another option available. Aside from traditional total knee replacement, Dr. Botero also specializes in partial knee replacement surgery. Today, we take a closer look at the operation and explain why this operation may be more beneficial for your situation.
Why Partial Knee Replacement
Arthritic knees can be very painful and limit mobility, but that doesn’t mean the entire knee joint is severely affected by the condition. Your knee is comprised of three distinct sections, the:
- Medial femoral-tibial compartment (inside of the knee)
- Lateral femoral-tibial compartment (outside of the knee)
- Patellofemoral compartment (formed by femur and kneecap)
Any of these three compartments can be affected by arthritis and degeneration, but if only one area is causing pain, you may only need to have that one compartment replaced. The other two-thirds of the knee can remain intact.
Partial knee replacement surgery has numerous benefits compared to a total knee replacement operation. Not everyone is a candidate for the partial replacement operation, but those who are typically find that the procedure involves:
- Smaller incisions, and less potential complications from scar tissue
- Decreased recovery time
- Decreased likelihood of complications during the operation
- Better knee preservation and range of motion
- Decreased discomfort during recovery
- Less blood loss during surgery
- Your knee feels more like a normal knee post-op
Obviously, partial knee replacement surgery is not without risks. Even when using minimally invasive techniques, patients still have the potential for infection or other surgical complications, and post-op there is a small chance that the prosthetic will shift and require a revisional operation.
How Is Partial Knee Replacement Performed?
Partial knee replacement can be performed in about an hour using the latest techniques. The patient will be given anesthesia and a small, four-inch incision will be made on the inner side of the front of the knee. Dr. Botero will then expose the arthritic part of the knee and remove the portion of the knee that is causing pain. He’ll do so without cutting tendons or muscles, leaving the healthy part of the knee intact.
From there, Dr. Botero takes measurements down the millimeter to ensure the prosthetic has the perfect fit. The prosthetic is carefully inserted and then manipulated to ensure fit, stability and motion are precise. Once in the perfect position, the prosthesis is secured using bone cement and a polyethylene liner is attached to the prosthesis to provide cushion and help the joint function as close to a traditional knee as possible.
Finally, the new joint is washed with an antibiotic solution that greatly reduces the risk of infection, and a couple of injections are made into the knee to control post-op pain and reduce swelling. The surgical site is then closed and the patient is sent off to a recovery room.
For more information about partial knee replacement, reach out to Dr. Botero’s office today.