Partial Knee Replacement

The knee joint is divided into 3 areas called “compartments” If your knee has cartilage damage in only 1 compartment, you may be a candidate for a partial knee replacement. This procedure involves resurfacing one portion of the knee joint and using artificial components to replace damaged tissue. Your surgeon would recommend a partial knee replacement based on x-rays and examination. MRI and CT scans can be helpful, but are usually not necessary for this determination. Partial knee replacement has been in existence for several decades; it is not new or experimental. The longevity and success have been reported to be as good as total knee replacement with appropriate patient selection.

The concept is to do the least amount of surgery necessary to eliminate or reduce your pain. Because there is less surgery on the bone, the recovery is generally faster than full knee replacement. Pre-operative x-rays and examination are accurate 95% of the time in determining if a patient is a good candidate for a partial knee replacement. However, about 5% of the time, something seen or observed during the procedure will move the surgeon to change from a partial knee to a total knee replacement.

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