When it comes to knee replacements, total knee replacements have historically trumped partial knee replacements – and for good reason. According to New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer, because the knee comprises three joints, which are held together by several ligaments and bones, knee surgery can be a complicated procedure.
Total knee replacement surgery is, on a technical level, an easier procedure than working on one small section of the knee. But new medications created to control rheumatoid arthritis – one of the causes of knee replacements – and new, image-guided technology for knee replacement surgery have made partial knee replacement procedures both easier and more accurate to perform.
But your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon warns that partial knee replacements aren’t for everyone.
Unlike osteoarthritis, which occurs when joints wear down, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s own immune system attacks its joints.
Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon advises that rheumatoid arthritis patients have traditionally been candidates for total knee replacements, but with better medications to control the immune system, these patients can also opt for partial knee replacements
There’s more of a grey zone now that’s opened the door for more partial knee replacement procedures. The appeal of a partial replacement, when it’s performed correctly, is that most people say it feels like a very natural knee because more of the knee is left intact. It’s a more isolated procedure, and the recovery time is much shorter. For the average person who is going to go fishing or play tennis, it’s a great way to solve a problem that really interferes with their lives.
And what’s made partial knee replacements easier for your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon to perform is the advanced guided imaging technology that enables them to visualize knee surgery on a computer screen as they are performing it.
On the other hand, if a person has arthritis and pain that doesn’t go away when they take medicine, and they can’t function, it’s time to think about surgery and the surgery that is most reliable is the total knee replacement.
Whichever procedure patients opt for, they need to be upfront and honest with their New Orleans orthopedic surgeon. If you aren’t honest with them, you might not think it’s important, but it might be very important.
If you have questions regarding knee replacement surgery and if it’s right for you, call the office of New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to schedule a consultation.