Understanding the procedure
The partial knee replacement surgical procedure allows your surgeon to access, remove and accurately replace only the damaged surface of your knee - leaving your healthy bone intact. Below is a brief description of the procedure:
- An incision is made to expose the damaged joint
- For a Uni knee implant, the end of the femur and top of the tibia are shaped to accommodate the Uni implant components
- For a PFJ implant, only the front surface of the femur is shaped to accommodate the PFJ implant component
- Trial components are placed to ensure proper alignment
- Once properly aligned, the trial components are removed
- The final implant components are implanted
- The incision is closed.
After leaving the operating room, you will most likely be transported to a recovery area where you will be closely monitored before returning to your room. Once you have returned to your room and your surgeon has given approval, you may begin the post-operative rehabilitation process. Your surgeon may recommend the following to begin rehabilitation while you are still in the hospital:
- Ice and elevation to reduce pain and swelling in your knee
- A continuous passive motion machine that will promote the return of your knee's range of motion
- Walking with a walker or crutches on your first day after surgery
What to expect
- On average, this type of surgery takes approximately one to three hours, depending on your individual circumstances.
- Usually you'll be ready to return to your room after one to three hours in recovery.
- After surgery, your pain may be managed via intravenous therapy and/or a pain pump and/or injection and/or pills given by mouth.
- Depending on your situation, you may be able to walk with the aid of a walker or cane the day after surgery.
- It is normal for your joint to remain warm, swollen and slightly tender for a number of weeks. Call your doctor immediately, however, if you notice:
- Increased pain, redness or swelling
- Incision drainage
- Prolonged nausea or vomiting
- Chest pain or shortness of breath
- Tenderness in the calf or thigh of the operated leg
- A fever
- Most patients are ready to drive a car about eight weeks after surgery, but not unless your surgeon authorizes it.
- Recovery varies greatly based on individual factors but most patients resume normal activities in about 12 weeks following surgery.
Important safety notes
Individual results of joint replacement vary. Implants are intended to relieve knee pain and improve function, but may not produce the same feel or function as your original knee. There are potential risks with knee replacement surgery such as loosening, wear and infection that may result in the need for additional surgery. Patients should not perform high impact activities such as running and jumping unless their surgeon tells them that the bone has healed and these activities are acceptable. Early device failure, breakage or loosening may occur if a surgeon's limitations on activity level are not followed.
Talk to your doctor to determine what treatment may be best for you.