Knees do not wear out evenly. Sometimes one part of the knee is perfectly fine while another part is completely destroyed. Depending on where the damage is in your knee, a partial knee replacement may be an option for you.
A partial, or unicondylar, joint replacement resurfaces only the worn out portion of the joint, either the inside, outside or kneecap, leaving the rest of the joint alone. To work properly, the components must be put in extremely accurately. Even a millimeter or two of tilt or rotation dramatically affects the wear patterns and longevity of the components. Think of how a car out of alignment means rapid tire wear.
Most surgeons are unable to perform partial knee replacements because of how difficult it is to achieve the required accuracy and so in many cases, even if a patient meets the criteria for a partial knee replacement, a more invasive total knee replacement will be offered.
For unparalleled accuracy in placement, Dr Tejas Upasani performs a Navio partial knee resurfacing procedure using the Smith n Nephew Robotic Arm Assisted Orthopaedic System. The Navio robot is the most sophisticated joint replacement system in the world. The system robotically guides the surgeon to precisely replace the joint, resulting in better alignment and reducing the risk of early wear
- A CT scan is made of the patient’s knee
- A computer builds a custom 3D model of the patient’s knee based on the CT scan.
- Before surgery, the surgeon plans the placement of the components using the virtual model, using real-time live motion data to adjust the position of the implants.
- During surgery, the robotic arm and computer navigation provide the surgeon with pinpoint precision (within 1mm and 1 degree of the plan) to enable optimal implant positioning and alignment.
- Just a few millimeters of bone need be burred smooth to allow for the implants to be fixed to the surface.
Exposures are 2”-3”, no muscles are cut, and no tourniquets are used. Blood loss is minimal, requiring no transfusions. Autologous Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) stem cell application can be used to enhance the healing process during the closure. Skin adhesive (instead of staples) holds the skin edges together, reducing the risk of contamination while allowing patients to shower the next day.
Patients walk from the clinic; most are off prescription pain medications within a week, and feel better than before surgery in just 3-4 weeks.
- Extremely high accuracy of anatomical placement
- A more natural knee motion
- Quick recovery
- All 4 stabilizing ligaments remain intact (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL)
- No muscle cut
- Non arthritic articular cartilage left alone
- Small incisions
- No staples to remove
- Less pain
- Minimal blood loss
- Extremely low blood clot risk
With a partial knee replacement, the procedure is so minimal that in most cases, patients walk out of the surgery center 1½ hours after surgery and begin physical therapy the next day.