Knee Replacement Surgery: Partial or Total?

Login to Health September 12, 2017 Bone Health 1729 Views

Partial knee replacement (PKR) as the term suggests covers only the worn out part of the joint while the rest of it remains untouched. Probably why doctors call it unicompartmental knee arthroplasty – as they only replace only one of the knee compartments. Many surgeons use robotic assistance in unicondylar or partial knee replacement surgery, for the purpose of accuracy and precision.

When you opt for a partial knee replacement surgery, doctors will assure you of fewer complications leading to faster recovery. He will also assure you of an overall range of mobility, besides providing an added advantage. That of reduced loss of blood.

However a matter of great concern is the inability to kneel despite supervised intervention and education.  That too six weeks after the partial knee replacement surgery, as reported by many patients. Training patients to kneel is a vital post-operative step that doctors take.

A study baffled the physical therapists. They were baffled as to how patients with arthritis in other joints after following their instructions were able to kneel. While others reported a loss of this ability. Findings revealed that numbness, scar position and range of motion had nothing with the ability or inability to kneel. What was the stumbling block then? The answer is fear. And regular sessions by physical therapists it provided direction on how to kneel safely and easily can help the patients over come it.

On the other hand total knee replacement or arthroplasty is considered many times over partial knee replacement as it does not involve splicing or removing one segment. It is therefore less complicated for the surgeon to maneuver, considering that knee surgeries are complex to perform.

Factors to be Considered before a Partial or Total Knee Replacement.

Which factors do doctors consider before they recommend partial or total knee replacement? Doctors determine it on the basis of the seniority of the patient and whether he or she is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. However these are not clear-cut criteria and every case has to be studied in-depth by surgeons. The body self-induced rheumatoid arthritis, which is why doctors call it autoimmune, as the immune system of the body attacks the joints.

In a partial knee replacement surgery, as doctors leave most of the knee and only let it affect segment they operated upon, patients feel it’s like a natural knee. Another important factor is that medication has developed over time and better medication to control the immune system implies that a patient can make do with partial knee replacement instead of having to undergo a total knee replacement.

Consider this: To an eighty-year-old who has severe pain in his knee and also has rheumatoid arthritis, Doctors may tell him to opt fa or partial knee replacement as he may have only one part of his knee worn down to the bone. If the rest of the compartments don’t need treatment then partial knee replacement would be the right option.

Healing time and durability also differ for both: partial and total knee replacement surgeries. Those who have opted for the latter do not need to go in for another replacement surgery till almost 2 decades; while the duration is approximately half for those who undergo partial knee replacement surgery.

You should let the experts help you to decide which type of knee replacement surgery suits you the best. Contact orthopedic surgeon today. 

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