Partial Knee Replacement
Causes of Knee Pain
Your joints are involved in almost every activity you do. Movements such as walking, bending and turning require the use of your hip and knee joints. When your knee becomes diseased or injured, the resulting pain can severely limit your ability to move and work.
The knee is the largest joint in the body and is central to nearly every routine activity. The knee joint is formed by the ends of 3 bones:
- The lower end of the thigh bone, or femur.
- The upper end of the shin bone, or tibia.
- The kneecap, or patella.
Thick, tough tissue bands called ligaments connect the bones and stabilize the joint. A smooth, plastic like lining called cartilage covers the ends of the bones and prevents them from rubbing against each other, allowing for flexible and nearly frictionless movement. Cartilage also serves as a shock absorber, cushioning the bones from the forces between them. Finally a soft tissue called synovium lines the joint and produces a lubricating fluid that reduces friction and wear.
Common causes of knee pain are:
- Osteoarthritis (OA) is sometimes called degenerative arthritis because it is a “wearing out” condition involving the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. When cartilage wears away, the bones rub against each other, causing pain and stiffness. Approximately 27 million Americans suffer from OA.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) produces chemical changes in the synovium (the lining of the joints) that causes it to become thickened and inflamed. In turn, the synovial fluid destroys cartilage. The end result is cartilage loss, pain, and stiffness. About 1.5 million people in the U.S. have RA. In women, RA most commonly begins between ages 30-60. In men, it occurs later in life.
- Sarcomas are a diverse and relatively rare group of malignant tumors that develop in soft tissue and bone. They are named by the tissue of origin; for example, osteosarcomas develop in bone, liposarcomas form in fat, rhabdomyosarcomas form in muscle and Ewing sarcomas form in bone and soft tissue. Soft-tissue sarcomas comprise less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed nationwide.
Your orthopedic surgeon will review and discuss the diagnosis with you. Based on the diagnosis, your treatment options may include:
- Joint fluid supplements
- Physical therapy
- Joint replacement
If you haven’t experienced adequate relief with medication and other conservative treatments, Knee Replacement may provide the relief from your arthritis pain and may enable you to return to your favorite activities.
What is Partial Knee Replacement Surgery?
Partial Knee Replacement (PKR) is a surgical procedure that helps relieve arthritis in one or two of the three compartments of the knee.
With PKR, only the damaged area of the knee joint is replaced, which may help to minimize trauma to healthy bone and tissue.
There are three types of PKR:
- Unicondylar Knee Replacement is a procedure that replaces only the single affected compartment of the knee, either the medial or lateral compartment.
- Patellofemoral Knee Replacement is a procedure that replaces the worn patella (the kneecap) and the trochlea (the groove at the end of the thigh bone).
- Bicompartmental Knee Replacement is a procedure that replaces two compartments of the knee, the medial and patellofemoral compartments.
Mako™ robotic-arm technology can be used for partial knee replacement, which is a procedure designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis (OA). By selectively targeting the part of your knee damaged by OA, your surgeon can replace the diseased part of your knee while helping to spare the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding it.
How does Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery work?
It all begins with a CT scan of your joint that is used to generate a 3D virtual model of your unique anatomy. This virtual model is loaded into the Mako system software and is used to create your personalized preoperative plan.
Prior to surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, you and your family will attend a free Joints Matter program at the Hospital. You will know exactly what to anticipate before and after the surgery, the daily expectations of rehabilitation therapy, and what you can do to recover more quickly.
In the operating room, your surgeon will use Mako to assist in performing your surgery based on your personalized preoperative plan. The Mako system also allows your surgeon to make adjustments to your plan during surgery as needed. When the surgeon prepares the bone for the implant, the Mako system guides the surgeon within the pre-defined area and helps prevent the surgeon from moving outside the planned boundaries. This helps provide more accurate placement and alignment of your implant.
After surgery, you’re taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (recovery room) for one to two hours. You’re then moved to your private room in one of Silver Cross’ surgical units, where you typically stay for a couple of days before going home, or a rehabilitation facility. You may feel some pain, but medications prescribed by your doctor should help control it. Your surgeon, nurses and physical therapists will set goals with you to get you back on the move. They will closely monitor your condition and progress. Your surgeon may review an x-ray of your new partial knee with you.
During the first few weeks after surgery, you’re more likely to experience a good recovery if you follow all of your surgeon’s instructions. If needed, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab at Silver Cross Hospital offers outpatient rehabilitation. Just ask your surgeon for a referral.
If you require additional assistance when you return home, the Silver Cross Home Health team will be there for you. Our experienced staff will even come out prior to your surgery to offer assistance in making sure everything is ready when you return home. It is just one of the reasons why we have been recognized as a HomeCare Elite Top Agency for many years.
Surgery is a difficult decision. You should talk with your doctor to better understand the risks and complications before making the decision to undergo total hip replacement; but consider that a study has shown that better outcomes have been reported in those patients who had a total joint operation earlier in their disease process. Two years after their operation, patients who chose surgery earlier in the disease process had improved function and reduced pain compared to those who waited.