A partial knee replacement is offered to people who have arthritis in mainly one of the three compartments of the knee. If two or three compartments are significantly damaged, a total knee replacement will be more suitable (Read out blog about total knee replacements here: Mako Robotic Assisted Surgery: A Patient Guide for Total Knee Replacement).
What is a partial knee replacement?
A partial knee replacement is a surgical procedure to relieve the pain caused by degeneration of the knee joint due to osteoarthritis. By selectively targeting only the damaged areas of your knee, none of the healthy parts of your joint are removed and more of the bone and ligaments surrounding the knee are preserved. There are three types of partial knee replacement:
- Unicondylar knee replacement involves replacing only a single compartment of the knee, either the medial or lateral.
- Patellofemoral knee replacement is a procedure to replace the worn patella (kneecap) and the trochlea, which is the groove at the end of the thigh bone.
- Bicompartmental knee replacement involves replacing the medial and patellofemoral compartments of the knee.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that leads to worsening pain due to the breakdown of cartilage in the joints of the body. Cartilage is a tough slippery substance that covers the ends of the bones and stops them from rubbing together when you move. It also acts like a shock absorber, helping to cushion the bones within the joint. When the cartilage thins and breaks down, the surface of the joint becomes rougher, preventing it from moving smoothly. Over time the bones may start to rub together, causing pain and stiffness, and sometimes bony spurs called osteophytes may develop. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body but is most common in weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees and feet. As many as one in 10 people over the age of 60 will develop the condition.
Who is suitable for knee replacement surgery?
If you are experiencing severe knee pain and stiffness and more conservative treatment options, like bracing, exercise and medication, are not providing sufficient relief you may be offered knee replacement surgery. Your surgeon will discuss whether you should have a total or a partial knee replacement and which type of partial knee replacement is most suitable for you.
The procedure involves removing the diseased or damaged joint and replacing it with an artificial joint made from metal alloys and high grade medical plastics. Joint replacement surgery can be life-changing, enabling patients to live their lives fully again, free from pain and stiffness.
What is Mako robotic arm assisted partial knee replacement?
Many orthopaedic surgeons, including Andrew Carrothers of Carrothers Orthopaedic, have invested in Mako robotic arm assisted surgery to improve the experience and outcomes of patients undergoing knee replacements.
This highly advanced technology does not replace the skill of the orthopaedic surgeon, but it supports and enhances it. It begins even before the patient is on the operating table. The Mako system includes specialist software that the surgeon uses to pre-plan your surgical procedure. It begins with a CT scan of your knee joint that is used to generate a 3D virtual model of the unique anatomy of your knee. The surgeon then uses the Mako system software to create a personalised pre-operative plan from this.
In the operating room, the Mako robotic arm assists the surgeon to perform the procedure in line with your personalised plan. If necessary, your surgeon can make adjustments to the plan during surgery but otherwise the Mako robotic arm helps them to remain within the pre-defined area so that only diseased or damaged bone is removed. Not only does this help to preserve more of your natural bone, but it also ensures more accurate placement and alignment of your implant. As with conventional surgery, after undergoing a Mako partial knee replacement, you will be offered support to rehabilitate fully from your surgery, with exercises from a physiotherapist to help you regain strength and flexibility.
What are the benefits of Mako robotic arm assisted partial knee replacement?
There are a number of benefits to Mako robotic arm assisted surgery. As explained above, implants are positioned with greater accuracy and individually optimised at implantation, to match your unique anatomy. This may give better results in the long term. The Mako system maps your natural joint movement patterns, helping to minimise excessive stress on soft tissues and ligaments. Rehabilitation from surgery tends to be quicker and the overall risk of complications lower. There is also less likely chance of implant failure in the future.
If you are due to undergo a partial knee replacement, why not download this helpful patient guide to Mako robotic arm assisted surgery:
Or contact us for more information.
Robotic arm assisted joint replacement | Cambridge
Whether you have chronic pain due to an injury, or have developed a condition such as osteoarthritis, there are options available to you to get back to optimum health. Our specialist consultant orthopaedic surgeons treat a wide range of orthopaedic conditions, including arthritis, trauma, limb deformity and sports injuries. We also offer Mako robotic arm assisted surgery to patients that are suitable.
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For your convenience, we offer appointments at both Nuffield Hospital Cambridge and Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital.