The benefits of Partial Knee Replacement vs Full Knee Replacement

Partial Knee Replacement Offers Many Advantages Over Total Knee Replacement

The number of Americans undergoing knee replacement surgery has increased steadily over the past decade. The aging population is contributing significantly to the demand for this surgery which, statistics show, is performed on over 200 people out of every 100,000 annually. Many doctors are now recommending partial knee replacement for a number of different reasons.

Knee replacement is indicated when osteoarthritis that results from years of wear and tear causes the joints and the bone below them to degenerate. The degeneration can result in stiffness, decreased range of motion and pain in the affected joint. A family tendency toward knee problems, obesity, injuries or some diseases are some of the common reasons osteoarthritis occurs.

Knee replacement is typically recommended for patients who are experiencing a dramatic loss of range of motion as well as severe pain due to the degeneration. Many doctors and patients now are choosing partial knee replacement rather than total knee replacement because of its numerous advantages.

In a partial knee replacement, the inside medial or the outside lateral section of the knee is replaced rather than the entire knee. The major benefit of having a partial knee replacement is the much shorter surgery recovery time. A patient who has had a full knee replacement can expect to spend a minimum of six weeks in recovery with associated physical therapy lasting several more months. The patient who has a partial knee replacement may find that recovery and physical therapy allow him to resume normal activities in under a month.

A patient who has a partial knee replacement operation can expect the knee repair to last at least 10 years. The expected lifetime of a full knee replacement procedure may be somewhat longer at 15 years, but that isn’t guaranteed. Many partial knee replacement patients report that their knees feel normal for the first time in years.

Knee replacement surgery has risks, as does any invasive surgery. The formation of blood clots is the most common risk factor, for which doctors have many treatment options. Unsuccessful surgery may mean that a total knee replacement will be necessary sooner than expected.

An aging population means that knees, like hips and other joints, are starting to wear out. Patients who are experiencing serious pain in their knees should consult with a surgeon about the necessity of knee replacement when pain and difficulty moving starts interfering with everyday life. A partial knee replacement procedure can be the best choice a patient makes.

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