Question: I have arthritis and need a knee replacement. Should I have a partial or total knee replacement?
Answer: Until recently, the general approach for arthritic knees has been to use cortisone shots and eventually replace the entire knee joint. Many times, only one of the three knee compartments is worn out and a full replacement is not necessary.
A partial knee replacement resurfaces only the portion of the knee that has arthritic damage, allowing for a shorter recovery time with less pain. A robot is now available to assist the surgeon to perform partial knee replacement, improving surgical accuracy. The MAKOplasty robot uses a surgeon-controlled robotic arm to prepare the knee joint for precise bone shaping, implant insertion and alignment, and optimal soft tissue balancing. This leads to better knee function and improved post-operative motion.
By having a partial knee replacement, you are able to postpone and potentially eliminate the need for a full knee replacement. However, not everyone is a good candidate for partial knee replacement, especially if the arthritis involves more than one compartment, or if the knee is very stiff and angulated.
Talk to your surgeon about the different types of knee replacements available and which is most appropriate for your condition.