Osteoarthritis of the knee

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis

Many people live with disabling knee pain due to osteoarthritis.  This condition is caused by cartilage wear from the ends of the bones that meet at the knee joint.  Initial treatments for this problem often include anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections, and activity modification.  Unfortunately, none of the treatments can actually replace the cartilage.  In fact, there is no treatment currently known that can replace this vital cartilage inside the joints when the damage is widespread.  Due to the aging population, knee arthritis is becoming more and more common.

 

Total Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement

In the past, total knee replacement has been the main option available to patients for whom the above medical treatments no longer alleviate their arthritis pain.  Although this is an excellent surgery, with good long-term results, and is still used quite often today, it still typically requires a fairly large incision, and the recovery usually takes 6 to 8 weeks.  This is still the surgery of choice for patients who have knee arthritis throughout all compartments of their knee.  It is estimated that in 2010, around 720,000 total knee replacements were performed in the United States.

 

 

Partial Knee Replacement

Partial Knee Replacement Image

Partial Knee Replacement

However, there are many patients who have cartilage wear in only ONE part of their knee. Usually, this is the medial, or inside part of the knee, closest to the midline of the body. If a patient’s pain is largely located in this one area, there is a good chance that the patient will be a candidate for partial knee replacement only. This procedure is less invasive, with a substantially smaller incision. There is also less blood loss and less operative time. The postoperative recovery is usually much easier and typically takes less time. Because of this, the patient typically takes less time off from work and can get back to work that much sooner. Partial knee replacement patients usually spend substantially less time in the hospital after the surgery. When I have a patient who has pain mainly on one side of their knee, and when their x-rays reveal severe arthritis changes on that same side, I usually perform this partial knee replacement for them.

 

 

Partial Knee Replacement with Mako System

Partial Knee Replacement with Mako System

Mako System for Knee Replacement

Another advantage is that I prefer to use the Mako System for partial knee replacements.  With this unique system, the patient’s knee is mapped out before the surgery with a CT scan, which generates a three dimensional, computer-generated model of their knee.  Then we can use computerized models of the actual knee components, place them in the virtual knee model within the computer,  and adjust component positioning on the virtual model of the patient’s knee until we are very confident in the perfect placement of these implants.

At the time of the actual surgery, this planning inMako System Results for Partial Knee Replacementformation is processed by the computer, sent to a surgeon-controlled robotic arm, which then allows the surgeon to machine away only the very minimal amount of bone needed to allow for placement of the final implants in their precise positions – exactly as planned in the computer preoperatively. This level of precise, reproducible knee implant positioning has never been possible before the Mako System became available.

 

If you would like to see if you are a candidate for the Makoplasty procedure, please schedule an appointment today.