Who Needs Partial Knee Resurfacing?
Your knee is divided into three major compartments, two of which are weight-bearing. If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis in just one of the weight-bearing compartments, and nonsurgical treatments haven’t been enough to relieve your pain and limited mobility, partial knee resurfacing may provide relief. Most candidates for the procedure feel pain on one side of the knee while performing weight-bearing activities or walking downstairs, but not at rest.
What’s the Difference Between Partial and Total Knee Resurfacing?
Total knee resurfacing (or replacement) and partial knee resurfacing vary greatly in both procedure and recovery times.With total knee resurfacing, the quadricep muscle is cut, and all moving parts of the knee joint are resurfaced with metal and plastic components.
During partial knee resurfacing, only one of the three compartments in the knee is resurfaced. This results in a more natural, flexible feel because the well-functioning portions of your knee are left intact. Additionally, the partial resurfacing procedure is performed using minimally invasive techniques, so you will have a smaller incision. The benefits include less pain, swelling, and bleeding; shorter hospitalization; and faster rehabilitation and recovery.
How Has Partial Knee Resurfacing Improved?
In the past, partial knee resurfacing had limited popularity because the incision size and recovery period were identical to a total knee replacement, and prosthesis designs made revision surgeries difficult. Today, these disadvantages can be solved with the Repicci method. This procedure can be done through a short three- to four-inch incision without cutting into muscle. Implants are thin and durable, allowing for very little bone removal and a quicker recovery.
How Do You Recover?
Most partial knee resurfacing procedures are performed in an outpatient setting, and patients don’t typically stay at the hospital longer than one night. Most patients will not need to undergo any formal physical therapy. One week following the procedure, patients no longer require narcotic medications for pain relief. One to two weeks following the procedure, most patients regain the ability to drive and perform everyday activities without the assistance of a walker or cane. Recovery times may vary depending on a person’s age and physical needs.