Partial Knee Replacements

Partial Knee Replacement Overview

Partial knee replacement treats arthritis that is localized to one side of the knee. It is a great treatment option for patients who suffer from arthritis but do not need a total knee replacement. Carolina Orthopaedics and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) total knee replacement patients see their quality of life dramatically improve after their procedure.

How is a partial knee replacement performed?

A partial knee replacement is an inpatient procedure performed under regional or general anesthesia. A CONA specialist:

  • Gently retracts soft tissues to expose the knee joint
  • Carefully removes arthritic bone and cartilage
  • Bonds perfectly fit metal and plastic components to bone

Dissolvable sutures close deep and superficial tissue layers. Skin staples close the skin. A sterile dressing is placed over the surgical site and a gauze bandage is wrapped around it. Total procedure time is 1-2 hours.

What conditions can partial knee replacement treat?

Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that damages knee bone and cartilage. Sometimes, arthritis damage is localized to one side of the knee. A partial knee replacement is the perfect treatment option because the healthy side of the knee remains the same. The partially replaced knee moves freely and easily and does not cause pain.

What are partial knee replacement advantages?

Partial knee replacement advantages include:

  • A quicker recovery
  • A shorter hospital stay
  • Less postoperative pain
  • Less surgical trauma

As previously mentioned, partial knee replacement is only for patients who have localized arthritis. A total knee replacement, which is an effective procedure that benefits many patients, is usually recommended for arthritis that affects both sides of the knee.

What is partial knee replacement recovery like?

The hospital stay is usually only 1-3 nights. In a comfortable private room:

  • Pain is monitored and controlled
  • Infection risks are minimized
  • Physical therapy is started

The patient rests at home for about two weeks. A CONA specialist sees the patient 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months after surgery. Strength and flexibility are accessed and x-rays are taken.

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