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When it comes to joint replacement, each patient has his or her own set of circumstances and goals for surgery. Joshua, who is from Long Island, New York, not only wanted pain relief from knee arthritis. He was eager to get back to his active lifestyle. When unrelenting knee pain started slowing him down, he thought it was time to consider joint replacement.
He began walking with a limp and had trouble climbing stairs. Since he had no intention of giving up his work or his active lifestyle, he set out to find a hospital and an orthopedic surgeon with extensive experience in joint replacement.
David was a candidate for a partial knee replacement, which was just what he wanted to hear. He had learned from his research that the rehabilitation and recovery after this type of surgery is generally faster compared to a total knee replacement. The damage was limited to one area of his knee and did not affect the entire joint.
Patients who qualify for a partial joint replacement generally experience less pain right after surgery and have a quicker recovery and rehabilitation. Yet the procedure completely relieves arthritis pain and allows patients to return to activities they were forced to give up. Another advantage is that it preserves the normal bone and cartilage in the rest of the knee that would typically be replaced in a total joint procedure.”
The right diagnosis is key. To qualify for a partial joint replacement, also called a “unicompartmental” knee replacement, the arthritis must be confined to a specific area. The knee has three compartments – medial, lateral, and patellofemoral (kneecap region) – and arthritis can involve one, two or all three areas. One would be a candidate for a partial joint replacement if only the inner (medial), outer (lateral), or patellofemoral part of the knee is damaged, independent of the other compartments. Patients whose arthritis is widespread (in more than one compartment) would need a total knee replacement.
Author: Dr. Chadwick Hampton
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