Partial knee replacement or resurfacing is a potential option for those who seek a more conservative alternative to total knee replacement. A partial knee procedure refers to a surgery designed to treat either the inner or the outer compartment of the knee.
A Less Invasive Partial Knee Replacement
Although not as common as total knee replacement, the partial, or unicompartmental, knee replacement (commonly called the "uni") is a viable alternative in limited situations. The designs of the unicompartmental types of knee replacements have improved over the years, as has the sophistication of the instruments used to implant these types of artificial joints.
Our orthopedic surgeons have access to a variety of unicompartmental knee implants. Your physician will discuss the options available and decide which implant to use based on your unique needs. The unicompartmental knee replacement also has smaller, less invasive incisions.
Why Choose Unicompartmental Knee Replacement?
The knee joint is made up of three compartments: the inner, or medial, compartment; the outer, or lateral, compartment; and the kneecap, or patellofemoral, compartment. Unicompartmental knee replacement is ideally used when damage has occurred to either the inner or the outer compartment. A unicompartmental knee replacement can also be used to replace a single compartment of the arthritic knee.
This surgery is less desirable for a young, active person because it may not withstand the extremes of stress that high levels of activity create.
Unicompartmental Is Minimally Invasive
Because the unicompartmental knee replacement can be inserted through a relatively small incision (approximately 3 to 4 inches long) that does not interrupt the main muscle controlling the knee, rehabilitation is faster, hospitalization is shorter, and return to normal activities is more rapid than after a total knee replacement.
This is still a serious surgical procedure and has all of the same risks as total knee replacement. These risks, as well as whether you are a good candidate, should be discussed with your orthopedic surgeon.
To learn more about this procedure, call 678-312-5000.