Did you know that 1 in 5 individuals will develop knee arthritis over the course of their lives? Knee arthritis is not only debilitating, but it can ultimately keep you from doing the things you once loved. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with the pain. Thanks in part to a variety of orthopedic treatments such as partial knee surgery, you can get back to your old self!
What Happens During a Partial Knee Replacement?
Individuals who suffer from knee arthritis likely have cartilage degeneration in one area of the knee. While there are numerous nonsurgical techniques that can provide pain relief, in cases where nonsurgical techniques don’t work, a partial knee replacement may be an alternative option. During this surgery, doctors remove the damaged cartilage and bone in the affected area while also preserving the supporting ligaments. If you are considering the procedure, here is what you can expect for the before, during and after:
- Before the Surgery: Before the procedure, your doctor will need to know about any current medications you may be taking, including prescriptions, supplements or herbs. In addition, it’s a good idea to prepare your home for after your surgery—this means clearing walkways and making sure you will be able to access everything you need.
- During the Surgery: Your surgeon will start by making a small incision to access the affected area of the knee. They will move supporting structures of the knee so they can remove any affected cartilage and bone tissue. Once the damaged areas have been cleared, a prosthetic component will be sized and inserted to fit your joint. Cement is then used to secure the insert, the supporting structures are returned to their natural spot and the incision is closed.
- After the Surgery: Most patients are able to go home as soon as the day after surgery and can put their full weight on their knee right away. Most surgeons encourage patients to do as much as they can by themselves, including daily activities like walking but high-impact activities should be avoided.
Can I Benefit From Surgery?
Partial knee replacement surgery is a great option for many people suffering from knee pain, but the surgery is not appropriate for everyone. If you have pain or arthritis that is confined to a single area of the knee and you are also at a healthy weight, then this surgery can be extremely beneficial for you. Although partial knee replacements can be beneficial, the surgery is not suitable for those with rheumatoid arthritis, patients with marked stiffness in the knee, or those whose ligaments aren’t intact.