At Appalachian Orthopedics, we are dedicated to providing our patients with the highest level of specialized care for the knee joint. Using state-of-the-art technology as well as the most advanced treatment options, our partial knee replacement expert, John Martino, M.D., is committed to relieving knee pain and getting patients back to doing the things they love.
The knee consists of three major sections: patellofemoral (front), medial (inside), and lateral (outside). Any one of these sections can become damaged; however, the medial is the one most commonly damaged. When one of these areas is affected by arthritis and has cartilage and bone damage, a unicompartmental knee replacement, also called a partial knee replacement, can be performed on just the damaged section to replace the area and provide long-term relief.
A partial knee replacement is similar to a total knee replacement, but instead of the whole knee being resurfaced with metal and plastic components, only the damaged portion of the bone and cartilage is resurfaced. Since it uses smaller incisions and disrupts less of the knee joint and surrounding muscles, the recovery process is quicker, allowing patients to return to normal activities sooner. Plus, the two main ligaments (ACL and PCL) inside the knee are maintained, which helps the knee feel and function more normally. A total knee replacement usually removes both of those ligaments, and so the knee is less likely to feel normal to patients after they recover.
As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection, blood clot, and other complications, but in experienced and well-trained hands, the risk of complications will be minimized.
Would you like to do more reading about the differences between partial and full knee replacement? Click below to read more from the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.