Partial vs Total Knee Replacement: Things You Need to Know

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Partial vs Total Knee Replacement: Things You Need to Know

total and partial knee replacement

Last year, the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first knee replacement surgery. In the last 50 years, this surgery has helped millions of people regain their mobility and improve their quality of life. However, many are still unaware of how partial and total knee replacement is different from one another, what the surgery entails and something about the recovery process. Given below are a few commonly asked questions and their answers.

What is the primary difference between partial and total knee replacement?

These two surgeries are conducted to relieve the same type of conditions that arise as a result of trauma, connective tissue disorders, arthritis, injuries because of overuse, etc. The orthopedic surgeon advises which procedure is to be done depending on the extent of damage that is caused to the knee. If only a small part of the knee has been damaged, a partial knee replacement is advised. However, if the damage is extensive, the surgeon would advise a total knee replacement.

What is the procedure for knee replacement surgery? What should the patient expect after the surgery?

In total knee replacement surgery, the whole damaged knee joint is removed and replaced with prosthetics in an open procedure. After the implant is in place, the joint is drained, sealed and then bandaged. For partial knee replacement, the surgery is less invasive as only some parts are replaced with prosthetics.

For total knee replacement, the patient has to spend a few days in the hospital after the surgery. Usually, this is between 5 and 7 days. There is likely to be a minimum amount of pain and swelling in the knee that has been operated upon. Patients are required to use a walker for the first few weeks after the surgery. Physical therapy is started on the day of the surgery and continues till it is completely healed and original mobility is restored.

For those patients that undergo a total knee replacement, the recovery timelines are consistent with them gaining the complete range of motion within the first fortnight after the surgery. After about six weeks the operated patient will be able to bend their knees at right angles. At this time that can start walking around with a walking stick, they can drive a vehicle and probably get back to work. At the end of ten months after the surgery, the patient will be able to resume completely normal daily activities. Sometimes, it may be necessary to have additional physical therapy sessions to make the load-bearing capability of the knee to its former state.

In the case of a partial knee replacement, the recovery period is much shorter. Moreover, some patients can leave for their home on the same day as the operation. Otherwise, they may have to spend a few days in the hospital. Physical therapy starts after a few days of the surgery and most normal activities can be resumed by the patient in a time span of 4 to 6 weeks.

How long do the prosthetics last?

The knee replacement surgery is known to cause untold relief to the patients from the pain and suffering that they undergo. It improves their mobility and quality of life tremendously. The prosthetic that is implanted in the knee lasts for about 15 years. This is true in up to 95% of the cases.

If you are looking for partial knee replacement at Mumbai or total knee replacement surgery at Mumbai, we have the best joint replacement surgeons in our hospital. They will guide you at every step of the surgery, from the point of saying yes to the surgery to the day of the last follow-up appointment. Our expert doctors will ensure that you have a complete and speedy recovery.

In case you are looking for knee replacement for yourself or your loved ones, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Dr. Santosh Shetty
Dr. Santosh Shetty
Specialist in Joint Replacement and Trauma Surgery with more than 15 years of experience.

1 Comment

  1. Sushant Patel says:

    I was recommended for a partial knee replacement. I was completely blank about the surgery. This blog gave me a short idea about the surgery I am supposed to face. Felt so Thankful

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