When severe knee arthritis interferes with everyday activities, knee replacement surgery may be an option. Knee replacement surgery can relieve arthritis pain and restore knee function so that you can more easily participate in your normal activities.

Candidates for Knee Replacement Surgery:

ROC Specialists conduct a thorough examination to determine whether a patient is a candidate for total or partial knee replacement. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may be a candidate for knee replacement surgery and should seek a medical evaluation.

  • Knee pain and stiffness that interferes with everyday activities like walking and climbing stairs
  • Knee pain that persists even while at rest
  • Chronic inflammation and swelling of the knee
  • Knee deformity related to arthritis damage, such as a bowing in or out of the knee
  • Long-term symptoms that have not improved with nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and knee injections.

Additionally, some patients may qualify for a partial knee replacement. The knee is divided into three compartments: the medial compartment (inner part of the knee), the lateral compartment (outer part of the knee), and the patellofemoral compartment (the front of the knee). If arthritis damage is limited to only one of these compartments, partial knee replacement may be an option. This procedure allows ROC Specialists to preserve more of the natural knee, which can yield better results for patients with arthritis limited to only one of the compartments in the knee.

Knee Replacement Procedures:

During a knee replacement procedure, ROC Specialists remove the damaged portions of the knee joint and replaces them with implants designed to mimic normal knee function. ROC Specialists typically perform both total and partial knee replacements in an outpatient surgery center called Oregon Surgical Institute. The benefits of outpatient knee replacement include lower risk of infection, avoiding an overnight hospital stay, and being able to recover in the comfort of your own home.

Though the two procedures are similar and both have the goal of relieving knee arthritis pain, there are some differences between total and partial knee replacements.

Total Knee Replacement:

With a total knee replacement, ROC Specialists remove damaged bone and cartilage from the entire joint surface of the knee and replaces it with it with metal implants. A plastic spacer is inserted between the two metal components to allow the new joint to glide smoothly.

Partial Knee Replacement:

During a partial knee replacement, ROC Specialists only remove bone and cartilage from the damaged compartment of the knee. Partial knee replacement implants are designed to fit either the inner or outer portion of the knee, leaving the other side of the knee intact. As with a total knee replacement, the implants are made of metal, and a plastic spacer is inserted between the two metal components to allow the implants to glide smoothly when moving the knee.

Recovering from Knee Replacement Surgery:

Because ROC Specialists utilize an outpatient surgery center for knee replacements, patients are able to return home the day of surgery. Advanced, multi-modal pain management techniques help patients to remain comfortable upon returning home while limiting the use of narcotic pain medications.

Patients begin walking, using an assistive device like crutches or a walker, the day of surgery. Physical therapy is also an important part of the recovery process. Patients may work with a physical therapist for several weeks to improve range of motion and strength in the knee.

Return to activity is gradual, though patients who have had partial knee replacements may recover more quickly than those who have had total knee replacements. ROC Specialists will advise when it is safe to return to certain activities, though most patients are able to resume most daily activities within 4-6 weeks.

To learn More about our Orthopedic Knee Specialists, click here.