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Partial Knee Replacement

Expert Knee Surgeons in Orange County, CA

Partial Knee Replacement is a surgical option for patients who have arthritis of one part of the knee. In general, patients can have a quicker recovery with a partial knee replacement than with a total knee replacement.

Pain is the main indication for partial knee replacement. With this procedure, we expect to be able to relieve most, if not all, of your pain. This is achievable more than 95% of the time in nationwide groups of patients and in our own patients. The other primary indication for partial knee replacement is poor function. A successful replacement will provide a stable limb that will provide good to excellent function in more than 95% of patients. Your surgical team will discuss with you the options of surgery and whether or not you are an ideal candidate for this surgery.

Possible Complications from Partial Knee Replacement

A partial knee replacement is a major surgery. Complications are rare, but we feel you should be aware of these in order to make an informed decision.

The following is a list of potential complications and risks associated with major surgeries:

  • Complications from anesthesia
  • Infection (rate less than 1%)
  • Loosening of implants
  • Injury to blood vessels
  • Injury to nerves
  • Fracture of your bone during implantation
  • Leg length inequality
  • Blood clots
  • Reactions to materials used
  • Lack of pain relief
  • Tendon rupture
  • Skin necrosis
  • Wear and implant failure

Your physician at Newport Orthopedic Institute is aware of these possible complications and takes many precautions to reduce these risks. If you have any other questions or concerns about these, or other complications of surgery, please discuss them with your physician.

Preparation for Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

After it is determined that you are a candidate for surgery, scheduling surgery can be done during an office visit or over the phone with your physician’s surgery scheduler. In order to better prepare your home prior to partial knee replacement, we recommend that you participate in the Pre-Op Hip and Knee Replacement Class offered through Hoag Orthopedic Institute. Prior to your surgery date, our surgery scheduler will contact you and will review an important itemized checklist of instructions which includes:

  • Your surgery date and estimated time
  • Required arrival time to the hospital
  • The date and time of your pre-op appointment visit
  • Required pre-operative internal medical clearances

Some patients need special clearances (i.e. cardiology) prior to surgery. This decision is based on your medical history.

Prior to Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

Medications to Avoid Before Surgery

  • Do not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID’s) medications for 7 days before surgery. The use of these medications can interfere with blood clotting and prolong bleeding times.
    • Examples include: Motrin, Nuprin, Advil (Ibuprofen), Indomethacin, Orudis, Aleve (Naproxen), Voltaren, etc.
  • Stop taking Celebrex or Mobic 3 to 4 days before surgery.
  • In general, stop taking aspirin or aspirin products 5 to 7 days before surgery.
    • If you are on aspirin for medical or cardiac reasons, please discuss with your cardiologist.
  • Tylenol or acetaminophen products can be taken up to the night before your surgery.
  • If you are on a steroid, such as Prednisone, you should continue to take this until the day of your surgery.

Recovery from Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

The duration of recovery and rehabilitation vary widely from patient to patient depending on factors such as: the type of procedure performed, age, weight and physical/medical conditions.

Depending on several factors, some patients are walking with assistance as soon as several hours after surgery. You may be given a front wheel walker or crutches to use. If your surgery is taking place at Hoag Orthopedic Institute, your hospital stay will usually be from one to two days. It is very important to take it easy and rest at home for the first 3 to 5 days post surgery. Your activity level should consist of getting up to go to the bathroom and walking in the house. Please keep your knee and leg elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling and pain. Icing may be helpful to decrease swelling.

Pain Management after Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

You may experience pain as part of your condition or treatment while in recovery. However you have a right to safe, effective pain relief. Unrelieved pain can have adverse physical and psychological effects, as well as delay your recovery process. Any time you experience pain, inform your physician or registered nurse (RN) even if they don’t ask you.

The pain associated with having completed your partial knee replacement surgery should be greatly reduced by post-operative day 2. We recommend taking the pain medication on a regular basis for the first week or so. Most patients can also use anti-inflammatory agents such as Advil or Aleve to help control pain and swelling. Please feel free to discuss pain issues with any member of the joint team.

There is also some pain further out after knee replacement surgery. Some therapy will cause mild to moderate pain and swelling for some periods of time. If the pain persists, question the therapy or stop it.

Narcotics are discouraged before knee replacement surgery, as they make it very difficult to manage post-operative pain after surgery. Pain medication such as narcotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories are crucial to your recovery after partial knee replacement surgery. We do encourage their usage in the immediate post-operative period. Usually, patients have discontinued narcotic usage by 3 months after surgery. If pain is still an issue, a pain management specialist may be recommended. Please review the following information regarding Opioid Awareness.

Schedule a consultation with a Newport Orthopedic Institute orthopedic knee surgeon in Orange County to treat your knee arthritis. Call (949) 722-7038.

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