Partial Knee Replacement: What Is It?

Managing knee pain can be an exhausting process. Limited and painful mobility is physically tiring, and leaves you emotionally and mentally spent as well. If medicine, physical therapy, and other conservative treatment options no longer bring relief, it’s time to make an appointment and talk with our doctors about other options. For some, that next step will be Partial Knee Replacement.

Partial Knee Replacement–formally called unicompartmental knee replacement or UKR–is suggested for patients who do not yet have widespread damage to their knee joint, and who are hoping to manage and prevent further damage. Patients with osteoarthritis in only parts of their knee, for example, are great candidates.

In a partial knee replacement, only the damaged cartilage, tissue, or bone is replaced, as opposed to the entire knee joint (referred to as total knee replacement or TKR). The prosthetic system works in tandem with your existing joint. Partial knee replacements are a preferable option for most, because it’s a less aggressive and less invasive surgical procedure. Partial knee replacement cases often see faster recovery and better long-term results.

For a few decades prior to the 1990s, total knee replacement was considered to be the best option, thought to be more reliable and easier to complete. However, TKR is an invasive procedure with a lengthy recovery time; younger, more active candidates for knee replacement don’t want to be off their feet for that long. Healthcare researchers also determined that more accurate implantation methods, with better-fitting and highly customized implants, produced far better results and renewed confidence in the procedure.

“The patients with the best success rate are those with sufficient range of knee motion, an intact anterior cruciate ligament, and early-to-mid-stage osteoarthritis that hasn’t progressed to all three knee compartments,” Dr. John Velyvis explained. “We’ll review your x-rays and determine the best path for you based on your lifestyle and knee damage.”

Dr. Velyvis is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in robotic knee replacement procedures. Using Smith & Nephew Robotic Assisted Technology, he creates a personalized surgical plan for each patient. The Smith & Nephew Navio Surgical System–an advanced computer program–creates a 3D model of the knee, which is used to plan the procedure and guide the surgeon during the operation. The surgeon uses the robotic handpiece to perform the surgery, which allows for more precise cuts and more accurate alignment of the implant. This groundbreaking technology allows for faster and more efficient procedures with better results.

Dr. Velyvis is the only orthopedic surgeon in Southwest Virginia certified in robotic-assisted knee replacement, and he has performed over 2000 robotic-assisted surgeries throughout his career. We’re thrilled to be able to offer our patients this state-of-the-art technology, and Dr. Velyvis’ expertise.

If your knee is no longer being served by conservative treatment methods, visit our office either during walk-in hours or with an appointment. There are options for healing that will help you return to your active lifestyle!

By |2019-06-03T13:42:32-04:00May 31st, 2019|Blog|

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