If you’re living with knee pain, you’ve probably thought about surgery to alleviate your discomfort. But did you know there are different types of knee replacement surgery to consider?

What is Total Knee Replacement Surgery?

total vs partial knee replacementA total knee replacement calls for the entire knee joint to be replaced with an artificial joint. Called a prosthesis, the artificial joint is usually made of metal and medical grade plastic.The procedure is also called total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

A total knee replacement usually requires a 1-2 day stay in the hospital followed by several months of physical therapy. You will be allowed to bear weight on the joint following surgery, but may need someone to help you bath, dress and run errands. It could take 6 months to 1 year before you’ve fully recovered from the procedure.

What is Partial Knee Replacement Surgery?

During partial knee replacement, a surgeon only replaces the portions of you knee that are damaged. This may be the inside or medial part of your knee or the outside or lateral part of your knee. A partial knee replacement is also sometimes called a unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA).

Following a partial knee replacement, you’ll probably go home from the hospital the day after surgery,and in some cases the same day. You’ll be able to put weight on your knee immediately, though you may need to use a walker or cane for a few weeks following surgery. You will also need physical therapy for several weeks following the procedure. Complete recovery generally takes a few months. Learn more about recovery from knee surgery.

Either way, knee replacement surgery significantly alleviates pain associated with arthritis in your knee joint. You will usually be able to walk without wincing, walk up and down stairs with ease and regain full range of motion in your knee joint.