Partial Knee Replacement
When a knee has been damaged in only one area, a partial knee replacement can be a great option to relieve pain and restore normal function. Dr. Adickes is proud to offer partial knee replacement to patients in Houston, TX and the surrounding area.
What is partial knee replacement?
Osteoarthritis, colloquially known as “wear and tear arthritis,” is especially hard on the knees. Their constant use, loads, and impacts slowly wear away the cartilage whose job is to cushion and protect the bones of the knee. If this degradation occurs throughout the knee joint, the patient will likely require a total knee replacement. If it occurs in a single area of the knee, a partial knee replacement could be all that is needed.
During this procedure with Dr. Adickes, the damaged compartment of the knee is replaced with metal and plastic. As much of the healthy parts of the knee as possible are preserved, making the end result feel more natural.
Who is a good candidate for a partial knee replacement?
The question of when is the right time for partial knee replacement is totally personal. Compared to a total knee replacement, where the patient’s mobility is seriously impaired, the degeneration leading to a partial replacement will probably be more variable.
To be a good candidate for this procedure, you’ll have passed through the phases of nonsurgical treatments. While these treatments may have initially been effective, or at least limited your pain, they are no longer relieving your symptoms. Your arthritic degradation needs to be limited to one compartment of your knee.
Dr. Adickes will thoroughly examine your knee to see if a partial replacement could be right for you. This will include your medical history, a physical examination of your knee to determine the location of the pain and to feel if there is ligament damage, along with x-rays and probably magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRIs) or computer tomography scans (CTs).
These conditions would preclude a patient from having partial knee replacement:
- Inflammatory arthritis
- Significant knee stiffness
- Ligament damage
What are the pros and cons of a partial knee replacement?
Patients generally have good results with this procedure, but there are advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of partial knee replacement:
- Quicker recovery
- Less pain after surgery
- Less blood loss
Patients often feel these partial replacements feel more natural because parts of the natural knee are left in place. They also often feel a partial knee replacement bends more easily and fluidly.
Disadvantages of partial knee replacement:
- Slightly less predictable pain relief
- Potential need for more surgery if other portions of the knee degrade
What is an Oxford partial knee replacement?
An Oxford partial knee replacement replaces only the inside (medial) portion of the knee with the Oxford Partial Knee implant. The medial is the part of the knee usually impacted first by osteoarthritis. By only replacing this inner portion, Dr. Adickes can preserve healthy bone, cartilage, and ligaments.
The Oxford Partial Knee is the only fully mobile bearing partial knee system available in the United States. The Oxford Partial Knee features an artificial meniscal bearing that is designed to glide freely throughout the knee’s range of motion, mimicking normal knee movement. In a healthy knee, the meniscus serves as a shock absorber between the ends of the bones. Dr. Adickes likes the Oxford implant because it provides patients with a more natural feel knee.
Plus, the Oxford Partial Knee has proven durable and successful. Long-term clinical testing on the Oxford Knee has shown a 98% success rate at 10 years and a 95% success rate at 15 years and beyond.
What is a Mako partial knee replacement?
For partial knee replacements, Dr. Adickes utilizes the Mako robotic arm to ensure precision and the best patient outcomes.
The procedure begins with a CT scan of the knee. This information is used to generate a 3D virtual model of the patient’s unique knee anatomy. This virtual model is loaded into the Mako system software and is then used to create a pre-operative plan, precisely detailing the portion of the arthritic knee bone to be removed and the alignment of the artificial partial knee.
In the operating room, Dr. Adickes performs the surgery with the assistance of the Mako robotic arm. Once inside the knee, Dr. Adickes may need to make adjustments to the pre-operative plan. Then the Mako arm is used to remove the diseased areas of bone with incredible precision. This precision is important to keep from removing more bone than is necessary. And the Mako assistance provides for more accurate placement and alignment of the knee implant.
What are the risks of a partial knee replacement?
This is major surgery, and it includes the risks that are involved with that: blood clot formation, excessive bleeding, infection, injury to nerves, and reaction to anesthesia. For this particular partial knee replacement, the main risk is that the surgery will not alleviate all of the patient’s knee pain. Plus, since only part of the knee is replaced, other parts of the knee may need surgery going forward.
Generally, however, patients are satisfied with the results of partial knee replacements with Dr. Adickes and this has proven to be a safe, effective procedure.
What should I expect in recovery from a partial knee replacement?
These procedures with Dr. Adickes involve less postoperative pain, less swelling, and easier rehabilitation than with total knee replacements. Most patients are able to return home in 1-3 days after their surgery. You will have prescription pain medication to manage your pain.
You will be encouraged to begin putting weight on your repaired knee immediately after your surgery. You’ll need a walker, cane, or crutches for the first several days and maybe longer. In clinical studies using the Mako system, 90 percent of patients were walking without an aid (such as a cane) just three weeks after their surgery. At six weeks, over 85 percent of patients returned to work.
An important part of your recovery will be rehabilitation. You will be scheduled to meet with your physical therapist beginning the same day of your surgery, and the two of your will move forward from there.
Most patients return to their regular activities by six weeks after their partial knee replacement with Dr. Adickes.