Partial Knee Replacement Specialist

Ortho 1 Medical Group

Orthopedic Specialists located in La Jolla, CA & Chula Vista, CA

Partial knee replacement can help you get back to your regular activities faster than a total knee replacement — but is it right for you? At Ortho 1 Medical Group, the team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons excels in partial and total knee replacement. They can assess your personal needs and help you choose the best way to get back to pain-free living. Book your appointment through the online scheduling link or call the office in La Jolla or Chula Vista, California, today.

Partial Knee Replacement Q&A

What is partial knee replacement?

Your knee has three main sections or compartments. These are:

  • Medial compartment (inner knee)
  • Lateral compartment (outer knee)
  • Patellofemoral compartment (the front of the knee between the kneecap and femur)

A partial knee replacement restores your function when you have damage in only one of these compartments.

How does a partial knee replacement work?

When doing partial knee replacement surgery, the surgeon makes an incision in the front of the knee. Your surgeon removes damaged cartilage from the affected knee compartment and then positions precisely-fitted implants in its place. The implants are held in place with cement.

You could have press-fit implants, porous metal parts that allow the bone to grow through them for secure placement.

With the implants properly positioned, your surgeon inserts a spacer between them to allow for smooth, gliding movement. With that, the incision is closed.

Am I a candidate for partial knee replacement?

The main qualifier for a partial knee replacement is having osteoarthritis. This joint disease causes significant stiffness and pain in a single knee compartment, usually the medial compartment.

Most people with some kind of inflammatory arthritis aren’t good candidates for a partial knee replacement because inflammatory arthritis causes widespread damage throughout the knee.

In some cases, osteonecrosis (bone death) in a single knee compartment will qualify you for a partial knee replacement.

You need strong, healthy ligaments around the knee to have this surgery. Any damage in your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), or other major knee-area ligaments can disqualify you for a partial knee replacement.

You also need good-quality bone to have a partial knee replacement. If you have osteoporosis or another condition that weakens your knee bones, a total knee replacement is usually the better choice.

Most partial knee replacements are done on younger people who lead active lives. But you could qualify for a partial knee replacement at any age.

What are the advantages of partial versus total knee replacement?

Partial knee replacement offers significant advantages for the right candidate, including:

  • Less pain after surgery
  • Faster return to normal activities
  • Reduced blood loss during surgery
  • Reduced infection risk after surgery
  • Reduced blood clot risk after surgery
  • Might feel more natural
  • Might flex more readily

While the advantages are impressive, there’s a potential drawback too. Osteoarthritis can later develop in one or both of your other knee compartments, which means that you could later need a total knee replacement.

Ortho 1 Medical Group can expertly assess your knee and recommend partial knee replacement or another procedure that meets your individual needs. Book your appointment online today or call the office to schedule an evaluation.