Many patients do not need Total Knee Replacement. In certain patients, standard Total Knee Replacement is far too aggressive a procedure. As arthritis affects each individual uniquely, a large subset of patients will have isolated knee arthritis rather than more extensive changes. For these, a smaller and more focused procedure known as Partial Knee Replacement is much more appropriate.
To review anatomy, the knee is compromised of three major compartments. In many forms of arthritis, only one of these compartments is damaged while the other two remain healthy and pain-free. In such patients, Partial Knee Replacement (also known as Unicompartmental Knee Replacement) is an appropriate option. Partial knee replacement targets treatment of only the damaged area while preserving healthier portions of native cartilage and ligaments. Total Knee Replacement would instead require sacrifice of healthy cartilage and ligaments to fix the smaller area of cartilage damage.
Partial knee replacement provides definitive treatment of painful knee arthritis and significantly eases the recovery process. It represents a key part of our Minimally Invasive Surgery program. With much less pain and blood loss, partial knee replacement is ideal for those who need to get back on their feet again as quickly as possible. With preservation of healthy portions of the knee, the operation places much less physiologic stress on the body, and is a safe alternative for those with heart or lung conditions. The operation lasts about an hour, and our patients our usually home within a day or two. We expect are patients to be walking the same day right after surgery, to be comfortable, and to be independent very quickly.
Our surgeons are specially trained in this procedure, and are nationally recognized as experts and instructors for other surgeons. We are proud to be one of the few centers in all of Southern California offering this minimally invasive surgical alternative.