Am I a candidate?
Partial knee surgery is suggested if a minor deformity or only a part of the knee is affected. This surgery is reserved for those with medial or lateral osteoarthritis of the knee. A surgeon may also consider this surgery because of unresponsiveness to medications and changes to daily lifestyles. Severe knee pain affecting daily activity is also a reason to opt for surgery. The healthcare provider will suggest based on the patient’s medical and treatment history and radiological tests.
Total vs partial knee surgery
Every surgical procedure has risks and benefits and one may be favorable over the other. Partial knee replacement maintains more healthy tissue and bone; therefore, the knee function and range of movement are intact. The fact that partial knee surgery is less invasive means blood loss is minimal and the recovery rate is faster. The pain intensity is also much less with partial knee replacement surgery than total knee surgery.
The possible perils
Although blood loss is less with partial knee replacement surgery, other potential risks exist. Not everyone will experience the risks but being aware of the risks is essential. The possible complications include infection, blood clots, damage to nearby vessels or nerves, and joint stiffness. Some later risks include continuous pain and loosening of an artificial implant. Before the surgical treatment, the doctor will discuss all the risks and benefits of the surgery.
On the day of discharge
Most patients are discharged on the day of the surgery or the day after except for special medical cases. Upon discharge, the patient is usually given a cane or walker which is used for a couple of weeks. After 3- 4 weeks, one should be able to ambulate without a cane or walker. The doctor will also prescribe pain medications which are taken for 1-2 weeks after the operation.
Resuming daily activities
The recovery time for partial knee surgery is faster due to the less invasive treatment. In 3-6 weeks, most patients recover and return back to normal activities. After the operation, the doctor will advise physical therapy and rehabilitation during the process of recuperation. Some sports can be resumed after 6-10 weeks after physical therapy. Every individual’s recovery time is different; some may take longer to recuperate than others.