Studies show that up to 40% of patients who suffer from debilitating knee arthritis have arthritis in only one compartment of their knee. Simply put, two-thirds of the patient’s knee is actually functioning well and not causing any problems. For these patients, an excellent option is to replace only the part of the knee that is arthritic – this surgical procedure is referred to as partial knee replacement.
Who is a Good Candidate?
Partial knee replacement is an excellent option for the appropriate candidate because:
- It is less surgery than total knee replacement
- It offers a quicker recovery
- The patient keeps two thirds of their knee which is functioning as nature intended to
- A partial knee replacement tends to feel more like a normal knee.
Patients who have partial knee replacements report higher satisfaction rates and report higher level of activity in comparison to patients who have undergone total knee replacement.
Partial Knee Replacement Procedure
During Dr. Herman Botero’s partial knee joint replacement, a 4-inch incision is made just to the inner side of the front of the knee. Through this small incision, Dr. Botero exposes the arthritic bone where cartilage has been lost, leaving the healthy part of the knee completely untouched. This arthritic bone is one of the main causes for the debilitating pain that patients feel. Dr. Botero then removes arthritic bone from the knee using custom instrumentation that allows for the safe removal of bone without the need for cutting tendons or muscle.
Once the arthritic bone has been removed, Dr. Botero carefully makes precise measurements down to the millimeter in order to determine the perfect-fit prosthesis. Dr. Botero then does a trial reduction to ensure the knee has perfect fit, stability, balance, and motion. Upon achieving the perfect fit, Dr. Botero secures the prosthesis to the ends of the bone using bone cement. A polyethylene liner is then secured onto the prosthesis that has been cemented on top of the shin bone. This liner is now the new “cushion” allowing the knee to function smoothly.
With the final prosthesis in place, Dr. Botero washes the knee joint with an antibiotic solution to prevent infection. Dr. Botero uses a special injection into multiple locations inside the knee. This injection helps reduce postoperative pain and overall swelling. On average, the entire surgery takes just over an hour.
After Partial Knee Replacement Surgery
After surgery, our patients recover first in a recovery room and then a hospital room at the joint replacement center (a specialized wing of the hospital dedicated solely for hip and knee replacement patients). Within a few hours from surgery, the patient is walking down the hallway, goes up and down a flight of stairs, and goes in and out of a car simulator. The majority of Dr. Botero’s patients are cleared to go home the same day or the very next morning after surgery.
Dr. Botero performs minimally invasive total knee replacement surgery at the outpatient surgery center that allows for a more personalized episode of care for the patient. Patients have their surgery and go home the same day completely avoiding the need for a hospital visit or overnight stay, unlike traditional surgery.
Partial knee replacement is an excellent option for the appropriate candidate because it is less surgery than total knee replacement, it is a quicker recovery, the patient keeps two-thirds of their knee which is functioning as nature intended to, and a partial knee replacement tends to feel more like a normal knee.