Knee replacement surgery is typically performed for elderly people with arthritis of the knee joints resulting from degenerative wear and tear over decades of use. Younger patients typically develop arthritis as a result of poorly-healed injuries from sports or trauma.
The knee joint comprises three compartments – the medial (inner), lateral (outer) and patellofemoral (front) compartments. Arthritis can occur in one or more of these compartments. However, approximately 80-90% of patients first develop isolated medial-sided (inner-sided) knee pain, and these patients are often suitable for partial knee replacement.
The Oxford Partial Knee Replacement system utilises a relatively small implant to replace the medial compartment of the knee joint and is recommended for patients with knee arthritis that is confined to the medial compartment (inner side) of the knee joint.
The Oxford Partial Knee Replacement implant has three parts — a femoral metal component, a tibial metal component and a polyethylene mobile meniscal bearing. These components provide better stability, durability and smooth joint movement.
The procedure uses minimally invasive partial knee replacement techniques whereby a short incision will be made along the inner side of the knee, followed by removal of the damaged bone and cartilage to create space for the Oxford Partial Knee Replacement implant to be fitted into place.
This causes significantly less damage to the muscle, ligaments and soft tissue around the knee. Additionally, the undamaged lateral and patellofemoral compartments of the knee are preserved, together with all the major knee ligaments, and this provides a more natural-feeling and mobile knee compared to total knee replacement (TKR). The usual recovery time is four to six weeks, almost half of that of TKR.
The Oxford Partial Knee Replacement has multiple benefits:
- Shorter hospital stay
- Shorter recovery time
- Excellent long-term results
- More natural-feeling knee with better range of movement
- Lower risk of post-operative complications
- High patient satisfaction
Not all patients with knee arthritis will be able to undergo a partial knee replacement. During consultation, the orthopaedist will advise the patient on the most suitable procedure for the patient’s unique knee anatomy as well as the ideal site and positioning of the knee implant.
Contributed by Dr James Wee, Medical Director & Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Oxford Orthopaedics
Images: Oxford Orthopaedics