Full or Partial Knee Replacement?
People undergo a knee replacement surgery for various reasons, such as in case of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, traumatic arthritis, or an injury. Such conditions can result in extreme knee pain even during the smallest of movements.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of knee replacement surgeries are successfully performed with the help of advancements in medical technology. Knee replacements can now be performed using minimally invasive methods, allowing the patient to heal faster.
Many knee arthritis patients can benefit from a partial knee replacement instead of a traditional full knee replacement. This is because the partial knee replacement involves less cutting of neighboring tissues, faster healing, and less pain during recovery. However, some people still require a full knee replacement to obtain pain relief and improved mobility.
Full Knee Replacement Surgery
A full knee replacement or total knee arthroplasty refers to the full replacement of the knee joint. The surgery is performed by making replacing the bottom of the femur and the top of the tibia, and the kneecap, with a prosthesis made of metal alloys, titanium, and medical-grade plastics.
The orthopedic surgeon will consider several factors, such as the patient’s age, range of motion in the knee, and its stability and strength, before deciding on the procedure. If the patient is experiencing chronic knee pain and a lack of function, the surgeon may advise a full knee replacement.
Those with severe arthritis damage and patients with damage to their ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) also have to opt for a full knee replacement.
Partial Knee Replacement Surgery
Instead of replacing everything, a partial knee transplant involves only removing the areas that are inflamed or injured. This surgery preserves the knee’s natural structures that are healthy, as much as possible.
In a minimally invasive arthroscopic knee surgery, the entire knee joint is not affected. For example, if the patient is suffering from arthritis but the ligaments are fine, then the patient’s original ligaments may be preserved.
The benefits of a partial knee replacement include:
- Preservation of some natural tissue
- Smaller incisions
- Less blood loss during surgery
- Fewer complications
- Faster recovery
- More natural range of motion
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