Understanding The Different Types of Knee Replacement Surgeries

Knee replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is a common procedure that provides relief to thousands of people around the world suffering from arthritis or other debilitating knee conditions. This operation involves replacing a damaged, worn, or diseased knee with an artificial joint.

However, the journey towards regaining mobility isn’t one-size-fits-all; there are several types of knee replacement surgeries available, each tailored to specific needs and conditions.

This article will explore these different types, helping you understand which one might be the best fit for you or a loved one.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Total Knee Replacement Surgery
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As the most common type, Total Knee Replacement (TKR) Surgery is usually what people think of when they hear the term ‘knee replacement surgery.’

In TKR, the surgeon replaces the entire knee joint — including the thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia), and kneecap (patella) — with artificial components made of metal and high-grade plastics. This procedure is typically recommended for patients with severe arthritis or significant knee damage.

Partial (Unicompartmental) Knee Replacement

Unlike TKR, a Partial Knee Replacement (PKR) — also known as a Unicompartmental Knee Replacement — involves replacing only the damaged part of the knee, leaving the healthy tissues and bone untouched.

PKR is a less invasive procedure with a shorter recovery time than TKR. It’s an option for those whose arthritis or knee damage is confined to a specific area of the knee.

Bilateral Knee Replacement

In cases where both knees are severely affected, a Bilateral Knee Replacement might be recommended. This procedure involves replacing both knees, either during the same surgical session (simultaneous) or in two separate surgeries (staged).

The decision between simultaneous and staged procedures depends on factors like the patient’s overall health and personal preference.

Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement

Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement
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Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement (MIKR) is a type of surgery that uses smaller incisions than traditional knee replacement surgery. This method may result in less blood loss, reduced hospital stays, and quicker recovery times.

However, it requires specialized surgical skills, and not all patients are suitable candidates.

Revision Knee Replacement

Sometimes, a previously replaced knee can fail due to various reasons such as wear and tear, infection, or instability. In these cases, a Revision Knee Replacement might be necessary. This procedure involves removing some or all of the parts of the original prosthesis and replacing them with new ones.

Revision knee replacement is generally more complex than primary knee replacement and requires extensive planning and specialized surgical techniques.

Computer-Assisted Surgery (CAS) Knee Replacement

Computer-Assisted Surgery (CAS) Knee Replacement
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Computer-Assisted Surgery is a cutting-edge approach that uses computer technology and software to guide the surgeon in aligning and positioning the knee replacement components. By providing a more precise alignment, CAS can potentially improve the longevity and function of the knee prosthesis.

Robotic Knee Replacement

Robotic Knee Replacement is another innovative technique where the surgeon uses robotic-arm technology to assist in the surgery. This method can provide a higher degree of precision in removing the diseased portion of the bone and placing the knee implant, potentially leading to improved outcomes and longevity of the implant.

Conclusion

Knee replacement surgeries have come a long way since their inception, with advancements in medical technology offering a variety of options tailored to the individual needs of patients. Understanding these different types of knee replacement surgeries can help patients and their caregivers make informed decisions about their health care.

However, it’s essential to remember that the decision for any surgical procedure, including the type of knee replacement, should be made in consultation with a qualified healthcare professional.

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