Knee pain can be a roadblock to an active, healthy life. However, with advancements in the medical field, it doesn’t have to be that way. Partial knee replacement surgery is an effective surgical option for people suffering from painful knee conditions.
Mr Andrew Gong, an orthopaedic surgeon based in Melbourne, is an experienced partial knee replacement surgeon. If painful knees are slowing you down, book a consultation with him and discuss your treatment options.
What is a partial knee replacement surgery?
There are three major compartments in a normal knee:
- Lateral compartment (outside part)
- Medial compartment (inside part)
- Patellofemoral compartment (the kneecap joint)
A partial knee replacement (unicompartmental knee replacement) targets only the damaged compartment of the knee. By targeting the specific worn-out part, this procedure offers a quicker recovery, less postoperative pain, and a more natural knee feeling.
A partial knee replacement surgery treats only the affected compartment, rather than replacing the entire joint.
Why have a partial knee joint replacement?
Partial knee replacement surgery is most common in people who have knee osteoarthritis impacting only one compartment in their knee. The primary reasons are:
- Alleviate pain
- Enhance stability and mobility
- Correct alignment or bone deformities
- Improve the quality of life
Mr Andrew Gong offers in-depth consultations to determine if partial knee replacement surgery is the right treatment for you.
Why choose a unicompartmental knee replacement over a total knee replacement?
A total knee replacement is usually indicated when the condition or damage impacts your entire knee joint and structures, not just one part of it. When there is only involvement in a single compartment of your knee, a unicompartmental knee replacement can be the preferred treatment option due to the numerous advantages:
- Less invasive
- Reduced blood loss and scarring
- Faster recovery
- Less pain
- Shorter hospital stays
For all its advantages, there are some disadvantages too. The main one is a possibility you will develop arthritis in other parts of your knee, requiring a revision surgery to a total knee replacement in the future.
A partial knee surgery helps you get back to doing the things you love quicker, with less pain and a shorter recovery time.
Am I a good candidate for a partial knee replacement surgery?
Ideal partial knee replacement patients have damage confined to a specific part of their knee without any ligament involvement and are not suffering from inflammatory arthritis. Mr Andrew Gong will conduct a thorough examination to determine if you are suitable for this partial joint replacement surgery.
What is the process for a partial knee surgical procedure?
Before your surgery, there are several steps you will need to take:
- Consultation with a partial knee replacement surgeon
- Attend pre-admission clinic
- Blood tests, x-rays and possibly an MRI scan.
- CT scan for robotic surgery planning
You will be provided with pre-operative instructions to follow, such as stopping certain medications (like blood thinning medication) and when to start fasting. On the day of your surgery, you will be given a general anaesthetic before your surgeon operates. Once completed you will be taken into a recovery room until the general anaesthesia has worn off and then sent to your ward bed for several days.
Initially, you will have a bandage around your knee, however, this will soon be replaced with a smaller waterproof bandage and you will be encouraged to mobilise as soon as possible.
Partial knee replacement post-operative recovery.
The day after your surgery you will begin ambulating and physiotherapy exercises to support recovery and healing. You will have a bandage around your knee, however, this is typically replaced with a smaller waterproof dressing after one day.
You will be provided with effective pain management whilst in the hospital and upon discharge (usually two to three days later). A follow-up with your surgeon will be made for two weeks after your uni-compartmental knee replacement.
Partial knee replacement risks to consider.
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in your legs)
- Nerve injury
- Blood loss, sometimes requiring a blood transfusion
- Postoperative pain
How much does a partial knee replacement cost?
The cost of a partial replacement varies, depending on several factors. Mr Andrew Gong and his team can provide a detailed quote after an in-depth consultation and determining the right treatment for you. We will also notify you of potential rebates from Medicare or private health insurance.
Why choose Mr Andrew Gong for
your partial knee replacement?
Mr Andrew Gong and his team understand the debilitating impact many patients experience with unicompartmental knee arthritis. The difficulty in performing normal activities due to pain and reduced range of motion in the affected knee can take its toll on you and those around you. Mr Andrew Gong is committed to offering top-tier care and partial knee replacements to empower patients, enhance their quality of life and reclaim independence.
Frequently Asked Questions
While both procedures focus on preserving as much of the natural knee as possible, partial knee resurfacing involves only replacing the damaged surface of the joint, whereas partial replacement involves replacing a whole compartment of the patient’s knee.
If I have partial knee replacement surgery, does that mean that I will no longer have arthritis of the knee?
Whilst this common surgical procedure replaces the arthritic part of the knee for pain relief and improved function, it doesn’t prevent arthritis from potentially developing or progressing in other parts of the knee.
Most patients will make a full recovery and can return to playing sports. However, it is important to consult with your surgeon about specific activities and when it is safe to return to them.
With advancements in materials and surgical techniques, many partial knee replacements can last 10-20 years or longer. The lifespan depends on several factors, including activity level, weight, and adherence to post-operative care recommendations.
Alternatives may include pain management methods, physical therapy, weight loss, assistive devices, injections, arthroscopy or a total knee replacement. The best option depends on individual health, age, activity level, and the extent of knee damage.