While the goal of knee replacement surgery is to restore function and decrease pain, this may sometimes be done without replacing each friction-bearing surface. For patients with osteoarthritis that is limited to one side of the knee, partial knee replacement may be an option. Dr. Nitin Goyal is proud of his track record of success, earning his reputation as an excellent knee replacement surgeon in DC.
Partial knee replacement has a proven history of delivering lasting relief to qualified patients. Its many advantages include:
- Swifter recovery
- Less pain following surgery
- Less blood loss
- Because parts of the natural knee are kept intact, patients report a partial knee replacement to feel more natural than a total knee replacement
There are several potential disadvantages involved in partial knee replacement. Primarily, if other components of the knee develop osteoarthritis later on, another surgery will be needed. The pros and cons of partial knee surgery should be thoroughly discussed with Dr. Goyal, and he will ensure that the correct conclusion is reached for your unique situation.
How partial knee replacement works
The knee is divided into three major compartments:
- The medial compartment, or the inside portion of the knee
- The lateral compartment, or the outside portion of the knee
- The patellofemoral compartment, or the front part of the knee between the kneecap and thighbone
The above compartments represent each friction-bearing surface of the knee. In a knee where the articular cartilage is only damaged in a single compartment, a partial—or unicompartmental—knee replacement may be an option. In this procedure, only the damaged compartment is replaced with metal and plastic, while the healthy cartilage and bone is left untouched.
A partial knee replacement only replaces the damaged compartment in the knee.
Partial knee replacement procedure
The incision for a partial knee replacement is the same as a total knee replacement. Once the knee is exposed, Dr. Goyal will examine the ends of the femur and tibia. If he happens to find that all compartments of the knee do, in fact, have damage to the cartilage, he will proceed with a total knee replacement. This contingency plan will be fully discussed with you before surgery so you are in agreement.
If Dr. Goyal finds that your knee is still a candidate for a partial knee replacement, he will proceed much like a total knee replacement. He will remove damaged cartilage from the appropriate compartment of the knee, followed by the application of metal to cap the ends of the femur and tibia. These metal caps are separated by a plastic insert that provides a smooth, gliding surface. Dr. Goyal evaluates each patient to decide on the best surgical plan for their unique body, another reason why his patients regard him as among the top knee replacement surgeons DC and North Virginia have available.
Partial knee replacement typically lasts 1 to 2 hours. After surgery, you are taken to a recovery room where you closely monitored while you recover from anesthesia. Once you are fully stabilized, you can leave the recovery room. In many cases, Dr. Goyal’s patients go home the same day as their surgery.
Dr. Nitin Goyal, MD, is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in hip and knee replacement. He understands that satisfactory results in hip and knee replacement cannot be done while pursuing general surgery—patients need a specialist. He has dedicated his career to these crucial joints, and is constantly striving to be among the best knee replacement surgeons Washington, DC and North Virginia offer. Please call our office to find out more.
About Dr. Goyal
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