September 26, 2017
Health & Fitness
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Advances In Partial Knee Replacement Result In Faster Recovery

Dr. James York
Dr. James York's picture
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May 18, 2017

Knee replacement surgery decreases pain and improves quality of life in many patients with severe arthritis. Typically, patients undergo this surgery after non-surgical treatments (such as activity modification, medications, bracing, knee injections, or walking with a cane) have failed to provide relief of arthritic symptoms. Surgeons have performed knee replacements for more than three decades, generally with excellent results; most reports have 10-year “success rates” in excess of 90 percent.

Think of knee replacement as resurfacing of the worn out (arthritic) knee surfaces. There are two types of knee replacements: total knee replacements, which resurface all of the knee joint, and partial knee replacements, which re-surface only the parts of the knee that are arthritic. Total knee replacement is used for patients who have arthritis throughout the knee. Sometimes arthritis (wearing away of the joint surface cartilage) only effects part of the knee (typically the inside or medial part). If this is the case, then we can do a partial knee replacement where the arthritic part is replaced and the other parts (typically kneecap and lateral part of the knee) are left alone.

Partial knee replacements have been around for decades and offer excellent clinical results, just like total knee replacements. The smaller size of the incision and the less invasive nature of the surgical approach allow patients to recover from the “mini knee” operation quicker. Patients lose less blood, experience less pain than traditional knee replacement, and often walk unassisted (no cane or walker) within a week or two of the operation.

If you have painful arthritis in your knees, you can get relief. Modern techniques for total or partial knee replacements can get many people back to activity in a relatively short time.

Dr. James York is an orthopedic surgeon at Anne Arundel Medical Center and with Anne Arundel Medical Group, Orthopaedic and Sports Specialists. He can be reached at 410-280-4729. For further information, visit www.osmc.net.


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