Patellofemoral Arthroplasty

By Amelia Son, PTA

What is a Patellofemoral Arthroplasty?

The quick answer is that a patellofemoral arthroplasty is replacing the joint between the knee cap and thigh bone.  That is why patellofemoral arthroplasty is considered a “partial knee replacement.”  While this is an alternative to a total knee replacement, it is specific to the damage and arthritis patients have in their knees and is not for all knee patients with arthritis.

anatomy of knee diagram

Patellofemoral Arthroplasty

Arthritis of the Knee

Arthritis, damage resurfaced, and replaced in a patellofemoral arthroplasty are limited to specific areas of the knee.  This includes the kneecap and the femur’s underside.  Specifically the groove on the femur where the kneecap sits.  This particular procedure is often easier to recover from. It is done through a much smaller incision and there is less damage to the soft tissue in comparison to a total knee replacement.  The following list notes the advantages of a partial knee replacement to a total knee replacement;

  • Quicker recovery
  • Smaller surgical incision which in turn decreases surgical trauma
  • Less overall blood loss
  • Decreased complications from surgery and recovery
  • Increased function and activity after full recovery
  • More natural feeling than total knee due to bone, cartilage, and ligaments that remain in the joint

If you would like to learn more about the Anatomy of the Knee, this VIDEO may help.

What Is Recovery Like after a Patellofemoral Joint Replacement?

robotic knee surgery in operating room

Robotic knee surgery

While the recovery is easier in a patellofemoral arthroplasty than a total knee replacement, there are still steps to ensure a good recovery and avoid complications.

  1. The first step to a good recovery is pain management.  Like with all surgeries, there will be pain after the procedure.  Your surgeon will more than likely prescribe you pain medication to help combat the pain. Progressing to over-the-counter NSAIDs after the prescription runs its course.
  2. Weight-bearing is also a vital part of your recovery to ensure healthy healing.  You should put weight on your new joint immediately. Use whatever walking aid makes you feel the most comfortable and stable. Eventually weaning off the aid and walking independently.
  3. Physical therapy is also an important step to recovery after your surgery.  Physical therapists will provide you with specific exercises to strengthen your joint and increase your range of motion to reach a fully functional level.  They will make sure to include a home exercise routine to perform and work with you to schedule in-clinic appointments to return to the full performance of your activities of daily living.

Where Do I Go for a Joint Replacement?

The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute is the area’s leader in joint replacements and orthopedic issues.  We also offer world-class physical therapy at our 12 convenient Rehabilitation Centers.  To schedule an appointment with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045. Let JOI get you on the Road to Recovery!  Please read this article on Direct Access to Physical Therapy. 

Related Articles: Chondromalacia Patella and Patellofemoral Pain and Runner’s Knee.

To Schedule an appointment with a JOI Knee or Joint Replacement Specialist, Call 904-JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below.

By: Amelia Son, PTA

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