difference between total and partial knee replacement surgery

Out of many joints in our body, knee joints occupy a special place because they help you walk. The knee joint is a combination of multiple bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Before knowing the difference between partial and total knee replacement, it is important to know the anatomy of the knee joint. The knee joint is composed of three bones, the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), and patella (knee cap). Actually, there are three more important compartments which include the medial (inside), lateral (outside) and patellofemoral (below the knee cap).

If there is any problem with these elements that make up your knee joints, the joints lose the functioning ability. Various forms of arthritis, bursitis, injury or trauma and many more conditions can affect one or both knee joints. 

An orthopaedic surgeon is the one who does a knee replacement surgery, and he recommends knee replacement for patients with advanced end-stage joint disease. Of course, in some cases of knee joint problems, non-surgical treatment might help; if it doesn’t work and still having functional issues and pain, knee joint replacement is the best way to fix the problem if it is done at the right time and by the best knee replacement surgeon.

What Is Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee Replacement surgery is a surgical procedure done by a joint replacement surgeon whose knee joints got damaged due to arthritis or injury or any other condition. An orthopaedic knee surgeon evaluates the damage and restores the damaged parts of the knee joint with implants made up of metal or plastic components. The prosthetics are shaped similar to the parts in the joint, which helps to restore the lost knee joint functions.

Based on the severity of the damaged knee, the joint replacement is classified into two kinds Partial Knee Replacement Surgery and Total Knee Replacement Surgery. 

Joint replacement surgery in these modern days became easy and more reliable with advanced techniques and implant materials. The procedure involves removing the damaged cartilage, and the joint is resurfaced with implants that function almost like natural joints. Modern medical technology is good enough to replace every part of the knee joint or entire knee joint.

Difference between partial and total knee replacement surgery

  • Partial knee replacement or unicondylar knee replacement is a procedure that involves removing and replacing only the damaged compartment of your knee with prosthetics. 
  • Total knee replacement or Total knee arthroplasty is a procedure that involves removing all the parts in the knee joint and replacing them with prosthetics.
  • While replacing the damaged compartment during the partial knee transplant, the other compartments are well preserved. Whereas in total knee replacement, the tendons and ligaments are also removed. In a partial knee replacement, most of the parts remain intact.
  • There are a few benefits to partial knee replacement compared to total knee replacement, which includes less dissection of bone and soft tissue, less blood loss, fewer post-surgical complications, faster recovery and better range of motion.
  • The revision (repeat or a redo surgery) rate of partial knee replacement is slightly higher than total knee replacement.
  • After a revision surgery for total knee replacement, the knee functions might not become worse compared to partial knee replacement, which becomes worse.
  • Revision surgery might be more complex than initial surgery.
  • One major disadvantage of partial knee replacements is, the non-resurfaced parts wear out eventually. Whereas in total knee replacement, there is no risk because all compartments are resurfaced.
  • If a patient undergoes partial knee replacement and if the non-resurfaced parts wear out over time, then a revision surgery needs to be done to convert the partial replacement into a total knee replacement.

Dr. Ajay Kumar Tiwari, an orthopedic knee replacement surgeon in Hyderabad, has the standards of excellence in doing partial and total knee replacement surgeries. He has around fifteen years of experience in doing knee replacement surgery. With dedication and talent, he became one of the best orthopaedic surgeons in Hyderabad, who can provide high-quality and evidence-based treatment at affordable prices.

He is an expert in improving all aspects of the patient after surgery, including recovery, joint functioning and pain. The entire process is a combination of different aspects, starting from patient education to managing post-surgical complications and also ensures the patients with promising results. 

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