Other than a severe knee injury due to an accident, the primary reason why patients need knee replacement surgery is severe osteoarthritis of the knee joint. It develops when the articular cartilage breaks down, and so the bones rub against each other as you walk and move – resulting in pain and discomfort.
Orthopedic doctors will treat the resulting knee pain with the least-invasive methods possible, such as pain-relief injections and prescribing physical therapy. But when the pain no longer responds to medication or therapy, knee replacement surgery may be recommended.
Let’s talk about some of the main differences between a partial knee replacement and a total knee replacement, and who you can talk to in order to find out how you can find relief from your knee pain.
What’s the Difference Between a Partial and Total Knee Replacement?
Joint replacement surgery can either be a partial or total replacement, and both types can be done using minimally invasive methods. The type of knee replacement surgery your orthopedic surgeon recommends will depend on your age, general health, and specific joint damage.
Medically speaking, the knee consists of three areas:
- Medial (inner knee)
- Lateral (outer knee)
- Patellofemoral/anterior (underneath the kneecap)
A partial knee replacement involves replacing one or two of these components, while a total knee replacement replaces all three.
Partial Knee Replacement
A partial knee replacement surgery usually takes only 1 to 2 hours. Your surgeon will remove only the diseased or injured tissues and replace them with prosthetic materials.
The surgeon will leave the healthy bone and other tissues undisturbed. This is usually an outpatient procedure, so you should be able to go home later the same day as long as you do not have an infection or other adverse reaction.
Total Knee Replacement
In a knee arthroplasty, or total knee replacement, the surgeon removes the entire damaged joint and replaces it with a complete artificial (prosthetic) joint. It is usually an inpatient procedure, so you may have to stay in the hospital for one or two nights after the surgery.
Knee Replacement Surgery in San Antonio, TX
If you’re suffering from intolerable knee pain due to arthritis or an injury, it may be time to have a consultation with an experienced orthopedic surgeon. This type of specialized physician can give you the options that are available to help reduce your pain, and the doctor will also give you a recommendation of what might be best in your case – of course, it’s ultimately your decision.
If conservative treatments are not enough, knee replacement surgery may address your joint pain for good. Here at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine in San Antonio, Texas, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons can offer the latest and most advanced treatments for various types of joint conditions, including knee replacement.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our friendly team today by calling us at (210) 692-7400. You can also fill out our convenient appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you live a pain-free life!