Do I Really Need a Full Knee Replacement or Will a Partial Do?

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Total joint replacements are becoming more and more frequent with our aging population. Presently over one million hip and knee replacements are done annually in the U.S. Of this total, 700,000 are knee replacements, with a projection of 3.5 million knee replacements by 2030.

Despite very good final outcomes, knee replacement surgery has a deserved reputation as being a painful procedure with many months of recovery. Improved anesthetic blocks with longer acting medications and improved pre-operative pain management have made a significant difference but, unfortunately, not enough. Patients frequently ask us about whether there is a better surgical alternative and, for as many as 50% of patients, a partial knee replacement offers many major advantages.

Advancement of Robotic Assistance

With state-of-the-art advanced robotic assistance, partial knee replacements are much more precise regarding sizing, fit, and balancing. Neither partial knee replacement nor robotics are anything new. We have done partial knee replacements manually for years, but the results and longevity were not as favorable as total knee replacements until recently. Today, even with manual techniques, the retention of implants has been 98%, 95% and 93% at ten, fifteen, and twenty years respectively. The first ten-year report on the robotic MAKO platform shows over 98 percent retention. MAKO is the number one robotic platform in the industry.

Advantages of Partial Knee Replacement

The major advantages to patients are as follows:

  • The procedure can almost always be done as an outpatient, without need for hospitalization
  • The recovery is measured in weeks, not months
  • There is less pain
  • The resulting range of motion is better
  • The incision is smaller
  • Patient satisfaction is much higher

So why have a painful in-hospital procedure with months of recovery if it is not necessary?

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Call and schedule an appointment with one of our MAKO trained surgeons and see if you are a candidate. You can learn more about robotic partial knee replacement at patients.stryker.com.