While less invasive techniques can sometimes suffice to treat pain in the knees, there comes a time when the knee must be replaced to help you find relief. When it comes to knee replacements, there are several types you may be eligible for depending on your condition and the severity of damage to your knee. One of these types is known as “unicondylar knee replacement.” While this term may seem frightening, its meaning is simple: it’s a partial knee replacement during which only a portion of your knee joint will need to be replaced.
Dr. Joseph Norris is highly experienced in providing unicondylar knee replacements to patients who need effective, long-term treatment for knee pain. Using state-of-the-art minimally-invasive techniques, Dr. Norris is able to create a small incision during your surgery, minimizing trauma to your knee and resulting in a faster, less painful recovery period.
If you’ve been living with debilitating pain in your knees, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible, as wear and tear will only increase the damage with time. Don’t delay -- if you’re ready to get back on your feet and live pain-free, schedule your first appointment with Dr. Joseph Norris today.
One of the most common reasons Dr. Norris recommends unicondylar knee replacement surgery to patients is arthritis, a general term for various conditions that involve the cartilage in your joint becoming worn out. In the arthritic knee, the cartilage on the surface of your knee joint has become thin or worn completely away, causing the bones in the joints to rub against each other. This causes pain, inflammation, and a loss of movement that can quickly become debilitating as the damage becomes worse over time.
Some of the other common reasons patients receive unicondylar knee replacement surgery include:
The decision to have any surgery is a serious and difficult one, and if you’re considering a partial knee replacement, you should do so in conjunction with Dr. Norris, your primary care physician, and your family members. The advantages of a knee replacement of any kind will revolve around relieving the symptoms of your condition, including:
Unicondylar (or partial) knee replacements also have several advantages over a total knee replacement for patients who qualify for the procedure. These advantages include:
The unicondylar knee replacement also tends to feel more natural and lends itself to better movement, since much of the natural bone in your knee has been left intact. Should the procedure become less effective over time or fail to adequately address your pain, it’s easy for Dr. Norris to revise your partial replacement into a total replacement.
While arthritis pain is the most common reason why Dr. Norris recommends a partial knee replacement, the procedure can also be effective for young, active patients who have sustained serious injuries to the knee and have damaged cartilage as a result.
If you receive a unicondylar (or partial) knee replacement and your pain persists, it may be time to revisit and revise the prosthesis. Unicondylar replacements can easily be revised into total replacements if this better suits your needs.
Each body is different, therefore each patient’s recovery will be different. However, the minimally-invasive techniques employed by Dr. Norris result in a shorter recovery period -- as well as less pain and cost -- than methods traditionally used in the past. Dr. Norris will discuss your recovery timeline with you as part of your treatment plan.
Yes! Physical therapy is an extremely important element of any surgical treatment, and it will be essential to helping you learn to be fully mobile with your knee replacement. It’s vital to follow all of the post-operative guidelines outlined for you by Dr. Norris in order to make the most complete, effective recovery possible.