What is it?
A partial knee replacement is an alternative procedure to total knee replacement. It is often used for patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee in which the damage is isolated to a particular compartment of the knee. In this case, the isolated area in question is the patellofemoral compartment, located at the joint between the kneecap and the lower leg bone. Improvements in technology and implant quality in recent years have made partial knee replacement a sounder option than in the past. As opposed to total knee replacement, partial knee replacement tends to better preserve range of motion and knee function in the affected area. This is mostly due to the surgery’s ability to leave healthy tissue and bone in the knee intact. The surgery reduces blood loss, and patients often recover faster than patients who have undergone other knee surgeries.
How is it Performed?
A partial knee replacement of this nature will last around 1-2 hours in most cases. The surgeon will first make an incision in the front of the knee. He or she will then explore the patellofemoral compartment of the knee to identify the damaged cartilage to make sure it is located in just one compartment. The surgeon will use saw-like instrumentation to remove cartilage from the affected patellofemoral compartment. To replace the cartilage are metal implants that simulate the surface of the joint and held to the bone with a cement-like substance. A plaster spacer is then inserted between the two metal implants to create a smoother surface for the joint to glide on.