Benefits of Partial Knee Replacement

Explore the advantages and considerations of partial knee replacement surgery in this informative guide. From understanding the procedure and its benefits to weighing the potential risks, this article provides valuable insights for individuals seeking relief from knee pain and exploring treatment options.

If you’re considering partial knee replacement surgery in Granville or Coshocton, Ohio, trust Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine to provide expert care. Our skilled knee surgeons specialize in partial knee replacement procedures and are dedicated to helping you regain mobility and alleviate discomfort. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our experienced team!

What is Partial Knee Replacement Surgery?

Partial knee replacement surgery is a procedure where only one compartment of the knee joint is removed and replaced with an implant. It is an effective treatment for unicompartmental knee arthritis. It is sometimes referred to as unicompartmental knee replacement.

Those with unicompartmental knee arthritis have damage to the cartilage in just one section of their knee. The three major compartments of the knee are as follows:

  • The medial compartment on the inside of the knee
  • The lateral compartment on the outside of the knee
  • The patellofemoral compartment between the kneecap and thighbone

Partial Knee Replacements vs Total Knee Replacements

As mentioned above, a partial knee replacement replaces just one compartment of the knee. Total knee replacement surgery, on the other hand, replaces the joint surfaces in the whole knee.

There are advantages and disadvantages to consider when choosing which procedure is right for you. Some of the advantages of partial knee replacement over total knee replacement include the following:

  • You will recover quicker
  • You will experience less pain after surgery
  • Blood loss is lower
  • The risk of infection and blood clots is lower

Many partial knee replacement patients report a more natural movement in their knee compared to total knee replacement patients. This is because more parts of the natural knee are preserved.

A disadvantage of partial knee replacements is that if the arthritis spreads to other parts of the knee, you may need additional surgery to replace those damaged parts. Compared with total knee replacement, the need for further surgery is slightly higher than partial knee replacement.

A knee surgeon explaining the benefits of partial knee replacement surgery in Newark, OH.

Candidates for Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

You may be a good candidate for partial knee replacement surgery if you have osteoarthritis and non-surgical treatments are no longer relieving knee pain and other symptoms. The damaged cartilage must also be limited to one compartment of your knee.

On the other hand, you may not be a good candidate for partial knee replacement if you have:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis or another inflammatory arthritis
  • Significant stiffness in your knee
  • Damage to one of the ligaments in your knee

What Are the Benefits of Partial Knee Replacement?

The benefits of partial knee replacement include the following:

  • Surgery is less invasive
  • The procedure is shorter, and you will spend less time on anesthesia
  • Less pain
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Faster recovery time
  • Less time doing physical therapy
  • Quicker return to activities, such as work and sports

Disadvantages and Risks

All surgical procedures come with certain risks. Risks associated with partial knee replacement are rare but could include the following:

  • Blood Clots: Blood clots may form in the deep veins of the legs or pelvis following knee replacement surgery. To reduce this risk, physicians may prescribe blood thinners, either orally (such as aspirin, apixaban, rivaroxaban, or warfarin) or via injections (like enoxaparin).
  • Infection: The risk of infection exists post-surgery, either in the skin over the wound or deep within it. Precautionary measures include pre-surgical antibiotics and continued post-operative antibiotic therapy for up to 24 hours.
  • Nerve or Vessel Injury: Although uncommon, surgical procedures may inadvertently cause injury or stretching to nerves or blood vessels.
  • Continued Pain: While partial knee replacement surgery aims to alleviate pain and improve joint function, some patients may experience continued discomfort following the procedure. This residual pain can result from various factors, including underlying joint degeneration, nerve sensitivity, or insufficient surgical correction. Management strategies may involve pain medications, physical therapy, or further evaluation to identify and address the underlying cause.
  • Risks of Anesthesia: Anesthesia is a critical component of any surgical procedure, and it carries its own set of risks. While advancements in anesthesia techniques have significantly reduced associated complications, risks such as allergic reactions, respiratory issues, or adverse drug interactions still exist. Anesthesiologists carefully evaluate patients’ medical histories and overall health to minimize these risks and ensure the safe administration of anesthesia during surgery.
  • Need for Additional Surgery: Partial knee replacement surgery can provide significant relief and restore function for many patients. However, in some cases, additional surgeries may be necessary due to various factors. These may include implant failure, progression of underlying joint disease, or development of new complications over time. Patients should be aware of the possibility of future surgical interventions and maintain open communication with their healthcare providers to address any concerns or changes in their condition promptly.

Schedule Your Appointment

If you are looking for an expert knee replacement surgeon to perform partial knee replacement in Granville and Coshocton, OH, contact us today at Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine. Our doctors can provide you with the quality care you are looking for. Schedule your appointment now!

Medically reviewed by Alex Tancevski, MD