The idea of a partial joint replacement or resurfacing is very appealing to many but not well understood. People come in asking for as little surgery as possible and a procedure that will resurface the knee just enough to make it feel better. This is a great idea but something we need to discuss.
To better understand what a partial knee does, you need a quick anatomy lesson. There are essentially THREE areas in the knee that might be causing arthritis pain. These are: 1) the surfaces under the kneecap, 2) the outside of the knee, and 3) the inside of the knee. Each of these can wear out and cause arthritis pain. Here are a few pearls for today:
A partial knee resurfaces ONE of these three areas.
A total knee resurfaces ALL THREE of these areas.
BOTH of these can be done robotically using the Mako Robotic System.
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Neither one cut out the entire knee – BOTH are resurfacing operations – like a tire re-tread.
Let’s look at a picture of both of these: