A partial knee replacement is an alternative to total knee replacement for some people with osteoarthritis of the knee. This surgery can be done when the damage is confined to a particular compartment of the knee. In a partial knee replacement, only the damaged part of the knee cartilage is replaced with a prosthesis. Factors such as the extent of joint damage, ligament stability, overall knee alignment, and individual patient characteristics will determine the suitability of this procedure.
Osteoarthritis is the wearing away of the connective tissue, called articular cartilage, within the joint. Articular cartilage prevents one bone from scraping against another.
The goal of partial knee replacement is to conserve as much of the healthy bone, ligaments, and cartilage as possible. This preservation can lead to better joint function and potentially faster recovery compared to total knee replacement.
People with medial, or lateral, knee osteoarthritis can be considered for partial knee replacement. "Medial" refers to the inside compartment of the joint, which is the compartment nearest the opposite knee, while "lateral" refers to the outside compartment farthest from the opposite knee.
The surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia, and here is an overview of the steps involved in the procedure:
Recovery time and rehabilitation after partial knee surgery may vary, but generally, it involves a shorter recovery period compared to total knee replacement. However, adherence to post-operative rehabilitation exercises and follow-up appointments is crucial to achieve the best possible outcome.