High Performance Partial Knee Replacement
The surgeons of UNOVA Hip & Knee Center have been instrumental in the development of significant advances in partial knee replacement surgery over the past 15 years. They have made significant contributions to the development of patient evaluation and selection criteria, surgical technique, and instrument development as well as implant research and development. They are considered to be national and international thought leaders in Partial Knee Replacement surgery having trained surgeons from Italy, Spain, Switzerland, France, Germany, and numerous universities across the United States.
The minimally invasive partial knee replacement is designed for patients who have severe arthritis of the knee that have not found relief with standard non-surgical treatments, such as NSAIDs, steroid injections, strengthening exercises, and weight loss. When you feel that you have exhausted your conservative treatment options and your knee pain is keeping you from the activities you love, then Partial Knee Replacement surgery may be considered. Partial Knee Replacement, also called a Unicompartmental knee replacement, is a surgery that may be considered for the treatment of severe arthritis of the knee with bone on bone contact in one compartment.
In a Total Knee Replacement, all of the cartilage and the underlying bone is removed from the knee joint regardless of whether it is diseased or not. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), is always removed, while the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) is removed 60% of the time, again whether they are diseased or not. These are the main stabilizing ligaments of the knee and are also responsible for the normal rotation of the knee as it bends and straightens. In a Total Knee, a metal and plastic implant is inserted to replace all the bone and cartilage that is removed and reestablish a smooth gliding surface.
The Partial Knee Replacement is a minimally invasive surgery. The Partial Knee Replacement uses a smaller incision than a Total Knee Replacement because only the damaged bone and cartilage are removed and all the ligaments and tendons along with their muscles are left in place. As in a Total knee replacement, a metal and plastic implant are used to replace the missing bone and cartilage.
Advantages of Partial Knee Replacement
- Smaller Incision: A Total knee replacement surgery involves an incision about 6 – 8 inches long over the front of the knee. There is more significant dissection necessary to complete the procedure compared to the Partial Knee Replacement. In the minimally invasive partial knee replacement, the incision is about 3 – 4 inches long, and the amount of dissection and bone removal is much smaller.
- Shorter and Better Recovery: Because of the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, not only is recovery time shorter with the partial knee replacement but the patient returns to a higher level of function than with a total knee. Not only will a higher percentage of patients with Partial Knee Replacements return to sporting activities than those with Total Knees, they will also engage in more sporting activity sessions for longer periods of time.
- Fewer Complications: The risk of complications such as infection and blood clots as well as heart and lung complications are much lower with Partial Knee Replacements than with Total Knee Replacements. This is attributed to the more rapid return to function seen after Partial Knee Replacement surgery.
- Same Day / Out-patient Surgery: Again, because of the minimally invasive nature of the procedure and the Unova Hip & Knee Centers Opioid and narcotic free anesthesia program, most of our Partial Knee Replacements can be performed as out-patient surgery allowing our patients to recover in the comfort and safety of their own homes.
- Normal Knee Kinematics: The movement of the knee joint is complex and dependent on the interaction of your joint surface with the ligaments, muscles, and tendons that surround the joint. When a Total Knee Replacement is performed, many of these structures are removed to allow for the insertion of the artificial knee joint. In a partial knee replacement, all of these structures remain, and therefore the mechanics and movement of the joint remain more normal. In fact, studies have clearly demonstrated in people who have had a full knee replacement on one side and a partial on the other side, their partial knee replacement feels more “normal.”
The long-term results are excellent when a partial knee replacement is done in the right patient, identified through proper patient selection criteria, with contemporary techniques by a skilled Partial Knee Replacement surgeon. It has been found in numerous published studies that surgeons who perform a high number of a particular procedure have fewer complications and failures than a low volume surgeon performing the same procedure. This holds true for Partial Knee Replacements as well.
The surgeons at UNOVA Hip & Knee Center have spent many years perfecting their skills with the Partial Knee Replacement. It is important to remember that a successful Partial Knee Replacement surgery depends on many factors. The knowledge and skill of the surgeon, the expectations of the patient, the patient’s weight and build, and the ability and willingness of the patient to participate in surgical preparation and post-surgical rehabilitation are all important factors impacting the eventual surgical outcome.
If you are considering a knee replacement surgery, we invite you to learn more about the unique High-Performance Partial Knee Replacement and experience the UNOVA Hip & Knee Center difference for yourself.