Total Knee Replacement vs. Partial Knee Placement What’s the Difference?

Why would you need a Knee Replacement?

The knee joint is considered one of the strongest joints in the body and consists of the femur (lower bone) the tibia (upper bone) and the patella (kneecap). Where these bones meet are covered with articular cartilage which protects and cushions the knee joint with everyday activities that we perform such as walking or standing. The meniscus is located within the knee joint and is considered the shock absorber of the joint. Through our lifetime our joints experience wear and tear which causes the cartilage to thin or wear down, causing the space between our joints to decrease. As a result of the wearing down of cartilage, the tibia and femur begin to rub on each other producing pain and loss of motion.

What are the symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

If you Arthritis and knee replacements at JOIexperience any of the following symptoms related to arthritis, you may want to follow up with a doctor. He/She will perform a physical examination and possibly a diagnostic examination (X-ray).  

Symptoms include joint stiffness, swelling, pain, weakness or episodes of knee buckling. Symptoms of knee stiffness are usually worse in the morning or with prolonged sitting activities.

Total Knee Replacement vs. Partial Knee Placement, What’s the Difference?


What is a Total Knee Replacement?

The knee joint consists of two sides, a medial side of the joint and a lateral side of the joint. As stated in the above text, cartilage forms both aspects of the knee joint and when it is worn down, the ends of the bone rub on each other. A total knee replacement is performed when both the medial and lateral sides of the cartilage are worn down and the pain that is experienced hinders you from performing activities of daily living or hobby-related activities. The surgeon will remove the top aspect of the knee joint (tibia) as well as the lower portion of the knee joint (femur) where the cartilage has been worn down. Then they replace this portion with a plastic or metal component that serves as your new joint. Surgery usually lasts for 2 hours but can be shorter or longer depending on the severity of the osteoarthritis.

What is a Partial Knee Replacement?

A partial knee replacement is slightly different than a total knee replacement. A partial knee replacement only replaces one side of the joint, either the medial or lateral side of the joint, depending on which side of the knee has more cartilage wear. The surgical procedure is similar to a total knee replacement but there will only be a metal or plastic component to the portion of the knee joint that had the most cartilage loss rather than the entire knee joint.

If you are interested in speaking to one of our knee specialists about a total knee replacement or a partial knee replacement you may book an appointment by calling JOI-2000 or click BOOK APPOINTMENT below.

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