If your knee is damaged because of an injury or accident, then knee replacement surgery may be an option. This orthopedic surgical procedure is known as arthroplasty which replaces the musculoskeletal joint with an artificial part.
The surgical treatment helps in relieving pain and restoring the function of the joint after the damage. If you have pain in the knee joint, it can become difficult to perform daily activities. People who are over the age of 50 commonly seek this surgery due to wear and tear on the knee joint.
The surgeon replaces the damaged portion of the knee with plastic and metal parts. If only one part of your knee is damaged, it can be treated by partial knee replacement surgery. The replacement is done either on the inside (medial), outside (lateral) or the kneecap part of the knee joint.
This surgery removes the damaged tissue and bone in the knee joint. An artificial implant, known as a prosthetic, replaces the removed part(s). Before starting the surgery, the patient receives anesthesia which the blocks pain.
There are two types of anesthesia which can be used during the surgical procedure. One is general anesthesia, which will make the patient unconscious and pain-free during the treatment. The other is regional anesthesia, which is also known commonly as epidural anesthesia. With an epidural, the patient is numb below the waist.
When conditions allow it, partial knee replacement surgery is better than total knee replacement, particularly in older patients. Studies show that the partial knee replacement improves the functioning of the knee better than the total replacement because it feels more natural to the patient.
Partial knee replacement surgery results in less blood loss and trauma to the patient. The medical and surgical complications are also less with this surgery as compared to a total knee replacement. This replacement surgery preserves the range of motion because it keeps the healthy tissue and bone in the knee. Arthritic knees are candidates for partial knee replacement.
Getting patients to move the knee the day after the surgery is standard practice. Most patients also work with a physical therapist while in the hospital and then for two to four weeks as an outpatient to gain strength in the muscles surrounding the knee. Patients who take care of their new knee and visit a physical therapist regularly can walk without assistance in about six to eight weeks.
For more information on partial knee replacement surgery, contact Dr. Dan Albright at 919-863-6808.