Partial Knee Replacement
About Partial Knee Replacement
In the past, a total knee replacement was the only surgical option for patients with severe knee arthritis symptoms that did not improve with more conservative treatments. However, advances in joint replacement techniques and technologies have allowed for partial knee replacements for some patients with arthritis that is limited to certain parts of the knee.
Dr. James Cahill has more than 20 years of experience with knee replacement surgery and is also certified in the use of robotic surgery for joint replacements for the most accurate implant placement and alignment. He keeps current on the latest research and adopts new procedures like partial knee replacement only when the research indicates it will yield better results for the patients who qualify.
Candidates for Partial Knee Replacement
In order for a partial knee replacement to be successful and provide sufficient pain relief, the patient must be a good candidate for the procedure. Not all patients will qualify for partial knee replacement. To determine if you are a candidate for partial knee replacement, Dr. Cahill will conduct a thorough exam.
Candidates for partial knee replacement typically meet the following criteria:
- Arthritis damage is limited to just one or two parts of the knee. The knee is divided into 3 sections called compartments. If arthritis is only present in one or two of those compartments, the patient may be a candidate for partial knee replacement. However, if arthritis damage is present in all three compartments, a total knee replacement will be needed to provide sufficient pain relief and improved knee function.
- Younger in age--typically aged 45-60. Though it is possible to do a partial knee replacement in an older patient if Dr. Cahill feels it is the best option, candidates for this procedure tend to be younger patients who are not ready to have a total knee replacement yet.
- Leads an active lifestyle and wants to stay active. If an active patient is a candidate for partial knee replacement, it may be a better option than a total knee replacement for a couple of reasons. First, recovery times for partial knee replacement tend to be quicker than a total knee replacement, so patients can get back to their activities sooner. Second, many patients report that a partial knee replacement feels more natural than a total knee replacement because more of the natural knee is preserved.
Partial Knee Replacement Procedure
A partial knee replacement is similar to a total knee replacement in that the damaged portions of the knee joint are replaced with metal implants. However, the entire joint surface is replaced with a total knee replacement, while just the damaged sections of the knee are replaced with a partial knee replacement.
Dr. Cahill typically performs partial knee replacements in a surgical center, and patients are able to go home the same day. He typically uses the Mako robotic surgery platform to complete the procedure, as it allows for the most accurate implant placement and alignment. This greatly improves the long-term results of the procedure and the patient’s satisfaction with the results.
Recovering from Partial Knee Replacement
Since Dr. Cahill performs partial knee replacements in an outpatient surgery center, patients are typically cleared to go home the day of surgery. Advances in pain management, including nerve blocks with long-acting novocaine, make it possible for patients to return home the same day without being in a lot of pain.
Patients will begin walking around soon after surgery, putting full weight on the knee, before they leave the surgical center. The recovery process for a partial knee replacement tends to be easier than a total knee replacement. The total recovery time is quicker than a total knee replacement, and there is less pain during recovery. There is no bedrest needed, and patients are able to get back to most everyday and social activities within a week of surgery.
Physical therapy is an important part of the recovery process and will help patients regain the strength and range of motion in the knee to return to a more active lifestyle. Most younger patients who have had a partial knee replacement go to a physical therapist on an outpatient basis. If needed, in-home physical therapy is also available. Most patients are cleared to return to all recreational activities within 2-3 months of surgery.
The benefit of a partial knee replacement is that, in the right candidates, patients are more satisfied with the results. Mako robotic surgery has greatly improved upon the results of a partial knee replacement by helping Dr. Cahill to better plan out implant placement to ensure the best possible alignment.
Partial Knee Replacement in Hackensack, NJ
Dr. James Cahill has over 20 years of experience with knee replacement surgery. He keeps current on the latest advancements in joint replacement surgery, including partial knee replacement, and incorporates new techniques into his practice when they have been proven to be beneficial to patients. If you would like to learn more about partial knee replacement or schedule an appointment with Dr. Cahill, please call our office at (201) 489-0022.