If you are considering getting knee surgery, you may wonder if a total or partial knee replacement is suitable for you. Both procedures can relieve pain and improve function, but some key differences exist.
Here, we'll take a closer look at these two types of surgery and what makes them different:
What Is a Total Knee Replacement?
A total knee replacement (TKR) involves replacing the entire joint with an artificial one. This is typically recommended when the knee is severely damaged and other treatments, such as medications, injections, or physical therapy, have not helped.
What Is a Partial Knee Replacement?
A partial knee replacement, also called a unicompartmental knee replacement, is a type of surgery used to treat knee joint damage. This surgery involves replacing the damaged joint surfaces with artificial joint surfaces.
The knee is a weight-bearing joint, and the knee joint surface is made up of three compartments: the medial (inner) compartment, the lateral (outer) compartment, and the patellofemoral (front) compartment. In a partial knee replacement, just one or two compartments are replaced.
Partial knee replacement is a less invasive surgery than total knee replacement and has a quicker recovery time. However, it is not suitable for everyone.
When Is a Partial Knee Replacement Recommended?
This type of surgery may be performed when the damage is limited to one knee joint area. It is less invasive than a total knee replacement and often results in a quicker recovery.
The decision to have a partial knee replacement is usually based on several factors, including the severity of the damage, the age and activity level of the patient, and the preference of the surgeon.
If you are thinking of a partial knee replacement, it is essential to consult with an orthopedic surgeon to discuss your options and ensure that this is the best treatment for you.
When Is a Total Knee Replacement Necessary?
This is a question that orthopedic surgeons often hear from patients. Several factors go into the decision to recommend a knee replacement, including the severity of pain, the degree of joint damage, and a patient's overall health.
Joint damage is often the result of years of wear and tear, but it can also be caused by injury or disease. The most common type of damage to the joint is osteoarthritis, which occurs when the cartilage that cushions the joint breaks down. This can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling.
In some cases, joint damage can be treated with nonsurgical methods, such as weight loss, physical therapy, and medication. However, when these methods are ineffective, or the joint damage is severe, a total knee replacement may be necessary.
Total knee replacement is a type of major surgery, so it is not typically recommended unless other treatments have failed. However, it can effectively treat those with severe joint damage. This surgery involves the replacement of a damaged joint with an artificial joint. This can provide a huge relief from pain and improve joint function.
Total knee replacement and partial knee replacement are two effective surgical treatments for patients with knee joint damage. Both procedures can improve the patient's quality of life and help them regain mobility. However, each procedure has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to discuss with your orthopedic surgeon which option is best for you.
Atlanta Bone and Joint Specialists have been performing total and partial knee replacement surgery for more than 50 years now. Consult with our bone and joint specialist today to determine which is the appropriate option for you!