A Partial Knee Replacement (PKR) is a surgical procedure that is performed when there is damage that is confined to a particular knee compartment. During partial knee replacement, only the damaged or diseased part of the knee is replaced with a prosthesis. The alternative to a partial knee replacement is total knee replacement which is a surgical procedure performed to replace the entire knee joint.
Partial knee replacement involves removing only diseased or damaged tissue and bone in the knee joint when arthritis is present in part of the knee. The rest of the knee is usually preserved. Initially, this procedure was only reserved for older patients involved in few physical activities but now it is also often done in younger patients as their recovery is less painful and quicker.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis or osteoarthritis is the deteriorating of the connective tissue known as articular cartilage within the joint. The articular cartilage is responsible for preventing the bones against scraping on each other. It also acts as a shock absorber within the joints allowing for stable and smooth movement between the joints. When the cartilage thins, the range of motion may be limited as the joint can inflame thus making the patient’s joint stiff and painful
Ideal Candidate for Partial Knee Replacement
Individuals with lateral or medial knee arthritis can be the ideal candidates for partial knee replacement. Medial is the inside compartment of the knee joint and it is nearest to the opposite knee. Lateral is the outside compartment of the knee joint and is the furthest from the opposite knee.
Partial knee replacement can also be considered by patients who are experiencing persistent pain despite maintaining a healthy weight and takin anti-inflammatory medication. He/she should also have sufficient range of knee motion, damage to one knee compartment, and have a stable knee.
Risks of Partial Knee Replacement
Just like any other surgical procedure, partial knee replacement surgery comes with risks. However, these risks can be managed, and they include:
- A degree of knee joint stiffness
- Infection at the surgical site
- Blood clots
- Failure or loosening of the implant
Procedure for Partial Knee Replacement
Partial knee replacement surgery is done under either general anaesthesia or regional anaesthesia. General anaesthesia is when the patient is asleep and pain-free during the surgery while regional anaesthesia numbs the patient from the waist down.
The partial knee replacement procedure involves the surgeon making an incision over the knee that is about 3-5 inches long. He/she then scrutinizes the entire knee joint for the damage. The damaged or diseased tissue and bone are removed. A prosthesis made from metal or plastic is placed into the knee. Once the implant is in the proper place, it is attached using bone cement. The wound is finally closed with stiches.
It is important to start moving your knee on the day of the surgery as this helps with the recovery. The knee will be mobilized for about two to four weeks after surgery and you’ll likely be discharged in about one or two days. Physical therapy will be needed during the recovery period and you should be back to full activities in two to eight weeks after surgery.
Types of Implants for Partial Knee Replacement
There are different types of implants that can be used during partial knee replacement surgery and they include:
- The Oxford Partial Knee Replacement
- The Persona Partial Knee Replacement
Oxford Partial Knee Implant
The Oxford partial knee implant is from the Biomet orthopaedics and it is designed to repair the medial side of the knee. It is used in patients with limited knee arthritis and have elected to undergo partial knee replacement.
The oxford partial knee replacement has a signature system that features personalized femoral (thighbone) and tibial (shinbone) positioning guides that are made to specifically fit in the patient’s anatomy. The signature guides are developed using MRI scans in conjunction with a computer software to create a 3D image of the patient’s unique joint. This enables surgeons to have access to more details and precision of the implant position and alignment prior to the surgery.
The oxford partial knee replacement removes 75% less of the cartilage and bone compared to total knee replacement. It is also less painful, has a more rapid recovery, and provides more natural motion. The device has a free-floating nature which enables it to provide a more natural feeling to the knee with low wear rates giving it a longer life expectancy.
Persona Partial Knee Implant
The Persona partial knee implant was developed by Zimmer Biomet for patients who wanted alternatives to the traditional knee replacement. Its new shaping and greater range in sizes enables knee surgeons to be very precise in matching an implant to a patient.
The persona partial knee has vitamin E-blended polyethylene to reduce the implant wear and extend the life expectancy of knee implants beyond the current 10-20 years.
The goal of the persona partial knee system is to alleviate pain, restore mobility, and improve the quality of a patient’s life.
Our board-certified orthopaedic surgeons at King’s specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries as well as degenerative conditions affecting the knee, including carrying out total and partial knee replacements for the treatment of arthritis and revision replacements when earlier surgery has not been successful, or has undergone deterioration.
The specialists have extensive knowledge of the full range of knee disorders and will help you find the ideal medical solution for your condition. You can get in touch by filling in the form below.
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