If you have suffered a serious knee injury or if osteoarthritis impacts your mobility and daily activities, you may be considering knee replacement surgery. Also called joint arthroplasty, this innovative surgery can replace the total knee joint, or just part of it. Here, we will compare these state- of-the-art orthopedic surgeries and their long-term outcomes.
How Partial Knee Replacement Differs From Total Knee Replacement
Partial knee replacement surgery, or PKR, addresses the pain relief and mobility needs of people with joint damage related to arthritis or injury from a fall, sports, or blow to the knee. It replaces only one or two portions of the knee joint, using high-tech plastic or metal parts. This kind of procedure is called a unicompartmental knee replacement as it addresses the deficiencies of only the lateral, medial, or patellofemoral portions of the knee.
Total knee arthroplasty replaces the joint surfaces of all three compartments. Hence, it is more invasive and involves a longer hospital stay, heavier pain medications, and more extensive rehabilitation.
Who Is a Candidate for Partial or Total Knee Replacement?
Patients who qualify for partial knee replacement surgery typically are under 60 years of age with a less active lifestyle, have relatively good knee range of motion, and weight no more than 180 pounds.
However, patients who are older than 60 years of age or who weigh more than 180 pounds typically experience better results with total knee replacement surgery. These patients may experience more severe and painful joint damage, leading to a limited ability for safely walking and running, as well as their ability to participate in sports and other physical activities.
For either procedure, patients must be in good overall health and highly motivated to persist in all aspects of surgical recovery and rehabilitation.
What Are The Long-Term Outcomes for Partial or Total Knee Replacement Surgery?
Partial knee replacement surgery can be highly successful in providing pain relief. Patients can often go home the same day or within a day or two of their procedure, and rehabilitation with physical therapy can range between three to six weeks.
Complications from partial knee replacement surgery are rare, with only 1% of individuals developing post-operative joint infections.
Around 90% of patient implants remain in place and functional for an average of 10 years, while 70% of patients have their artificial joints for about 25 years. However, about 8% of all partial knee replacement patients need revision of their operated joints, about two to three times the revision rate of total knee replacement patients.
Like partial knee replacement, total knee replacement surgery also delivers effective pain relief. However, the surgery incisions are larger, and patients must remain in the hospital for at least two to three days after their procedure. Rehab is longer and more involved than with partial knee replacement surgery, taking several weeks to even months for recovery of joint function and ambulation.
As with partial knee replacement surgery, complications from total knee replacements are rare, but can occur more often. Around 2% of patients experience infection which may require the removal of their implants.
However, successful total knee replacement implants can last up to 20 years or more.
Knee Replacement Surgery in Fort Lauderdale, FL
There are many health and lifestyle factors to consider for knee replacement surgery. So, you need the expert help of one of the foremost orthopedic surgeons in the country. Look no further than Dr. Paul Meli, a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon. You can trust his skill and wisdom regarding the right treatment for you and your knee. Call our office today to arrange an in-person consultation at (954) 234-7711 or request a visit online. Dr. Meli will provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision for your health and lifestyle.