Life Can Be Hard on Joints, Especially Knees.
Although knee problems can result from injury or trauma, as we age we are most likely to experience knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of the knee is sometimes called “wear and tear” arthritis because the cartilage, the soft tissue that cushions and protects the bones in the knee, gradually wears away, much like the tread on a tire. Eventually the cartilage is gone and bone rubs against bone. This causes almost constant pain and limits your ability to walk, work or perform even simple activities.
In its early stages, osteoarthritis can often be treated with medicines, injections and other non-surgical treatments. But once the cartilage is worn thin or is totally gone, these treatments fail to relieve the pain. When that occurs, the conventional treatment has been surgical reconstruction of the knee that replaces all three components of the knee with a prosthetic implant. The surgeons at our hospital are experts in joint reconstruction, and for the last 20 years they have helped pioneer and perfect another less invasive surgical option called Partial Knee Resurfacing.
Partial Knee Resurfacing – A New Alternative
Partial knee resurfacing is a small-incision procedure that can greatly benefit people who have arthritis in only one compartment of the knee. Instead of replacing the entire knee, partial knee resurfacing replaces only the side of the knee damaged by arthritis. The incision is small, there’s less pain, faster recovery and most patients are walking the same day. Patient benefits are immense, including:
- Only one night
- No suture removal
- Back to activities in 4-6 weeks
- No physical therapy
- No blood transfusions
Total Knee Resurfacing
When the cartilage is damaged in more than one component of the knee, the entire knee joint can be successfully resurfaced with metal and plastic, preventing bone from rubbing on bone. This procedure too has excellent results in long-lasting pain relief and restored joint function. The hospitalization and recovery time is longer than partial knee resurfacing, but generally patients can expect to return to normal activities in 8-12 weeks.