What Is A Partial Knee Replacement?

December 9, 2015
G2 Admin

A partial knee replacement is surgery which only replaces one part of a damaged knee, typically due to cartilage damage from osteoarthritis.  There are three areas, or compartments, of the knee.  The medial compartment, the lateral compartment, and the patellofemoral compartment.  If arthritis is not affecting all of the compartments, a partial might be an option.  

Why Is a Partial Knee Replacement Better Than a Total Knee Replacement?

Unless your doctor has determined you absolutely need a total knee replacement due to damage impacting your entire knee, a partial may work for you. In a partial replacement only the damaged cartilage is removed, leaving healthy tissues in tact.  Just enough damaged cartilage and bone is removed to place the implants. Previously, many surgeons opted for a total knee replacement when a partial knee replacement would have been an option. Research suggests 43% of patients who had a total knee replacement didn’t need one, because not all areas of their knee were damaged. So what has changed?  In the past several years there have been many technological advances allowing for better partial knee replacement options – including MAKOplasty®.

Benefits of MAKOplasty® for Partial Knee Replacement

This advanced partial knee surgery is performed with a robotic arm system your surgeon controls.  The robotic arm technology enables surgeons, like Dr. Goradia, to achieve a precise knee placement. Before the surgery, 3D images of your knee are taken and the implant designed specifically for you, so it fits better, feels more natural and minimizes shifting.  Because the surgery is minimally invasive and more precise, patients experience less pain and recover faster when compared to manual knee replacement surgery.

Do I Need a Partial Knee Replacement?

Your doctor can accurately diagnose the cause of your knee pain, but the most common signs of knee arthritis are:

  • Pain with activities
  • Grinding sensation at the front of the knee
  • Difficulty getting up from a seated position
  • Limited range of motion
  • Stiffness of the joint
  • Swelling of the joint
  • Tenderness of the knee
  • A feeling the knee may give out
  • Deformity of the joint

To start, your doctor will probably discuss non-surgical treatment options including exercises, physical therapy or injections.  If these aren’t working your doctor may recommend replacement.

About Dr. Goradia

Dr. Goradia is a nationally known expert in arthroscopic surgery specializing in knees and shoulders and one of only three surgeons in the Richmond area who can perform partial knee replacement using the MAKOplasty® system. He is Board Certified in Orthopaedic Surgery with a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine. He has published numerous articles in orthopedic journals & textbooks and gives presentations at national and international orthopedic conferences. Dr. Goradia educates physicians and patients throughout the county and has taught knee and shoulder arthroscopy labs to orthopedic surgeons from the US and internationally. He sees patients in his Glen Allen and Chester, VA offices. Learn more about Dr. Goradia’s offices or schedule an appointment.