Partial knee resurfacing is an alternative to traditional knee replacement surgery intended for those with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. If you’ve been diagnosed with OA or have knee pain with activity, especially on your inner knee area or under your kneecap, you may be a candidate for knee surgery. If you have stiffness and pain when rising from a sitting position you can also be evaluated for surgical treatment with a traditional knee replacement or partial knee resurfacing.
The most common treatment for advanced OA is total knee replacement surgery. For a certain set of patients, however, innovative partial knee resurfacing surgery may be an option. Instead of replacing the entire knee joint with an artificial implant, partial knee resurfacing leaves non-diseased portions of the knee joint and surrounding tissues intact.
Deciding factors for knee resurfacing
Some basic deciding factors that your surgeon will rely upon when recommending your surgical treatment are:
- The success of less-invasive, non-surgical treatments for you: If you have been diagnosed with OA of the knee and lifestyle changes, physical therapy and/or pain management have not been successful, surgical procedures may be considered.
- The stage of your OA disease: If you’re living with early to middle-stage OA that affects only one or two (rather than all three) compartments of your knee, a knee resurfacing procedure may be an option. Your surgeon may perform a bi-compartmental or uni-compartmental knee resurfacing surgery (partial knee replacement).
- The presence of sufficient healthy bone: During the knee arthroplasty resurfacing procedure, the compromised and diseased part of your knee is resurfaced, sparing your healthy bone and adjacent tissues. An implant is then used to allow the knee joint to move smoothly once again.
Advantages of partial knee resurfacing for qualified patients
For those with partial OA and joint degeneration of the knee, resurfacing can offer these advantages:
- Preservation of healthy bone and tissue.
- Less potential trauma to nearby muscles and ligaments.
- A smaller incision with less scarring.
- A more “natural feeling” knee after surgery.
- Quicker recovery with a shorter hospital stay (averaging from 0 to 2 days) than conventional knee replacement surgery.
- Rapid pain relief.
- A faster return to daily activities.