Knee injuries are painful and debilitating. They occur most frequently during sports or other physical activities, but they can happen at any time. There are two main categories of injuries occurring in the knee region; those that happen over time and those that happen instantaneously. Having to consider getting a knee replaced itself can be daunting to a lot of people. There will come a time when there will have to be the decision made to whether you will have a full knee replacement or a partial knee replacement.
Now of course before this point, you have been in consultation with your orthopedic surgeon and, they have considered you a good candidate for surgery. Not everyone, for instance, will be able to withstand the surgery for one reason or another. Determining whether you have the option of having either a partial knee replacement or need a full replacement will depend on the condition of the knee and the overall wear and its locations.
There are some surgeons that do not do partial replacements and will prefer the full replacement only. There are some reasons for this, but it will depend on their preference. With a partial knee replacement, there are several advantages.
1. Less recovery time. You are back on your feet in 3-5 weeks depending on your overall condition. With a total knee replacement, you can expect 6-8 weeks of recovery.
2. Less time spent in the hospital after surgery. With a partial replacement, you have the surgery one day and may come home the next if there are no complications. With a total replacement, you can expect a minimum of 3 days in the hospital and up to 5 in some cases. Again this depends on surgery results and if there are complications or not.
3. The partial knee replacement can be converted to a full replacement later down the road if needed. With a partial knee replacement, the conversion is rather simple, with a full replacement, this becomes a more invasive procedure when having to do a revision again with a longer rehabilitation process involved as well.
Depending on who you talk to there may be several more benefits between the two but, the three listed are the major ones to consider.
If you surgeon feels a partial replacement will suffice in your case and is willing to do it then, by all means, have it done and save yourself time and maintain an excellent quality of life as well.
Full knee replacement surgery is done when the disease has completely worn away the cartilage between the bones of the knee, leaving them to scrape together painfully with no cushion. The main culprit is arthritis. When conservative treatments that include NSAID medications, corticosteroid injections, viscosupplementation, and other management techniques fail, surgery is the only viable option left.
The way to choose the best knee surgeon in Newcastle and Hunter region is via GP referral or surgeon review websites. This is important for knee replacement because its such a major operation and will require making several changes to the knee.
Recovery time can vary, but is often up to a year recovery, depending on various factors including age, weight, overall health, and more. Surgery last, in total, about two hours, and your hospital stay will be between 3 and seven days, depending on how well you do.
Immediately after surgery, you will begin your rehabilitation. Before leaving the hospital, usually a stay of three to five days, you will have already learned to extend your leg fully, bend it to a 90-degree angle, and even learned how to walk up and down one or two stairs with the aid of a walker or cane. And, of course, they will have you up and about, walking a slow, measured, pace. Walking will be your number one physical therapy workout and is completely healthy and safe. Your knee will need the gentle exercise to stay in prime working condition and should remain a major part of your recovery effort during the year following surgery.
This video shows preparation of local Newcastle knee surgeon Dr Gill conducting an arthroscope of a damaged right knee of a 35 year old soccer player. Make sure you do your research in choosing the best surgeon in your area.