Do You Need A Partial Knee Replacement?

Do you Need a Partial Knee Replacement


Do You Need A Partial Knee Replacement?

Partial knee replacement surgery is similar to a total knee replacement. However, unlike a total knee replacement surgery, partial knee replacement surgery is only done to the portion of the knee that is damaged. Partial knee replacement surgery used to be common in older patients. Today, partial knee replacement surgery is also done in younger patients as well, helping them recover quicker and with less pain. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding on why people need to get partial knee replacements, how to prepare for surgery, what to expect during surgery, what the recovery process is like, and how Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants can help you. 

Why Do People Need Partial Knee Replacements?

Your doctor might recommend that you receive a partial knee replacement for a number of different reasons. The main reason is because you have arthritis in part of your knee. On the other hand, you would require a total knee replacement if you had arthritis or issues in your entire knee, meaning that all of the tissue and bones in your knee are damaged. 

Osteoarthritis in the knee occurs in up to 30% of people in the United states. Osteoarthritis will cause your connective tissue, also known as articular cartilage, to wear away overtime. Articular cartilage cushions your bones, making sure that they do not scrape against one another. In addition, articular cartilage absorbs any shock that might occur in your joints. If the cartilage wears down overtime, the joint can become inflamed, causing you pain, stiffness, discomfort, and limited range of motion. 

Those who suffer from medial or lateral knee osteoarthritis can be considered candidates for partial knee replacement. Medial knee osteoarthritis is the most common and it means that the issue is inside of the joint. Lateral knee osteoarthritis means that the issue is occurring on the outside of your knee and farthest from the opposite knee.

Some other people that might be considered great candidates for partial knee replacements include the following: 

  • Other non-surgical treatments are not working. For instance, if your prescribed anti-inflammatory medications are not relieving any pain.
  • As mentioned earlier, it used to be normal for only people over 60 years old to be considered great candidates for partial knee replacements. However, now, younger people are also undergoing partial knee replacements. 
  • If your doctor X-rays your knee, they will have a better idea of what is going on inside of your knee. Through the X-ray, your doctor might see something that points to surgery being the answer.
partial knee replacement

How To Prepare for Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

Before going into any surgery, you definitely need to make preparations in order to have a successful surgery and recovery. Here are some ways to help you have a successful and nice recovery: 

  • Don’t be afraid to ask your surgeon questions. If you are nervous about going into surgery, it can help ease your nerves by asking your surgeon clarifying questions. For instance, asking things like, “How long will surgery take?” or “What is the recovery process like?”
  • If you are not already doing so, living a healthy lifestyle will make it easier on your body during your recovery time. Also, strengthening your arms and upper body will make it easier for you to get around on crutches, or other walking aides, after surgery. 
  • Organizing or cleaning out your house before going into surgery will make it a lot easier for you to move around your house without obstacles in your way. The last thing that you need while recovering from surgery is to trip over something that you left in your hallway or on the floor. 

What Is Partial Knee Replacement Surgery Like?

During the surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will make a small incision in your knee to gain access to the damaged area. Once the surgeon has a better look at what they are dealing with, they will gently move the surrounding structures of the knee out of the way. In addition, they will get rid of the damaged cartilage and bone tissue from the arthritic area. Then, the surgeon will insert the prosthetics that were specially sized to fit your joint. To secure the prosthetics to your joint, the surgeon will cement them all together. After everything is in the correct place and secure, your knee will be closed back up and you will be headed to recovery. 

What are the possible risks of surgery?

Like any surgery, partial knee replacements do come with some possible risks that you should be aware of. Possible risks include the following:

  • Blood clots
  • Buildup of fluid in the knee joint
  • Infection at the surgical site
  • Damage to the nerves and blood vessels
  • Knee joint stiffness
  • Pain when kneeling

What Is The Recovery Process Like?

Like any kind of invasive surgery, there is a recovery process to ensure a safe and speedy recovery. It is quite common for patients that undergo partial knee replacements to spend the first night or two in the hospital after surgery. Typically, patients are able to walk with some help or even by themselves on the same day that they receive their surgeries. Within the first week of surgery recovery, patients are given canes to help them walk independently. With a good physical therapy program, patients should expect to get back to their usual activities, prior to surgery, within three to six weeks after surgery. 

Partial Knee Replacement at Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants 

Knee injuries can be extremely painful, before and after surgery. Here, at Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants, we recognize how important it is to get back on your feet and regain a sense of normalcy after surgery. With our highly-qualified team of specialists and surgeons, we will help you prepare and recover from your knee surgery. 


If you are looking for someone to help you recover from knee surgery, contact us today!