Often it is the medial (inside) compartment that becomes arthritic. If the other compartments have healthy, normal cartilage, then you might consider a partial knee replacement.
Knees have three components:
- Femur: This connects to your thigh bone and helps your kneecap move up and down when your bend your leg.
- Tibia: This is also known as your shin bone. It connects the ankle bone to the knee bone.
- Patella: This is also known as your kneecap. It sits in front of the joint to provide protection.
During a partial knee replacement, only the damaged portion of the knee is replaced. This is also called uni-compartmental. It is a smaller implant for just one side of the knee but both surfaces.
Partial knee replacement is done through a relatively small incision (approximately 3 to 4 inches long), so it does not interrupt the main muscle controlling the knee.
What this means for you is:
- Faster rehabilitation.
- Shorter hospitalization.
- Quicker recovery time than a total knee replacement.
- A more natural feeling knee since less bone is removed and there is less trauma to soft tissue.
One option for a partial knee replacement is using MAKOplasty technology, a surgeon-controlled robotic arm system that combines computer imaging with an intelligent instrumentation. This allows the surgeon to precisely place an implant that has been selected for the patient's knee.