Comparing Partial and Total Knee Replacement Procedures

If your knee has been damaged by arthritis and your orthopaedic specialist has recommended a replacement procedure, he or she may recommend either a partial or total knee replacement. Which kind of surgery you need depends on many different factors, including the location of your knee damage, your age, and your activity level.

What is the difference between a partial and total knee replacement?

As the name suggests, during a partial knee replacement, only a portion of the knee is replaced. The procedure is performed on patients who only have damage in one portion of the knee. This is common in people who had a knee injury or knee surgery when they are younger and begin to experience deterioration in just the part of the knee that was previously treated. During a total knee replacement, the entire knee joint is replaced by a prosthetic. This is recommended when people have damage that extends past one section of the knee.

Who is a good candidate for each kind of knee replacement?

In addition to having damage that is isolated to one part of your knee, you could be a good candidate for a partial knee replacement if have a good range of movement with minimal deformity of the knee and you do not have rheumatoid arthritis or another inflammatory form of the disease. Total knee replacement is usually a better option for people whose knees are damaged in more than one area or who have significant ligament damage.

What are the pros and cons of each procedure?

Partial knee replacements have faster recovery times, since the procedure is less invasive, and after surgery, people tend to experience a better range of motion. People who undergo partial knee replacement also need revision surgery more often than those who get total replacements. Patients who undergo total replacements have longer recovery times but more reliable results.

Don’t suffer in silence with knee pain. The doctors of Steamboat Orthopaedic Associates, P.C. can recommend the right knee procedure to get you back to your normal activities. Make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor in Steamboat Springs, CO by calling (970) 879-4612.