• Knee Arthritis,

Surgical Options for Knee Arthritis: From Arthroscopy to Joint Replacement

Fri, Mar 22, 2024

If you or a loved one are struggling with knee arthritis, you may be wondering what options are available to help manage pain and restore mobility. Osteoarthritis, the most common cause of knee arthritis, can progressively wear down the cartilage in your knees, causing discomfort and limiting movement. Fortunately, there are many surgical options available to address this issue, ranging from minimally invasive procedures to full joint replacements.

Let’stalk about these surgical approaches to help you make an informed decision about your treatment plan.

Knee Arthritis – A Brief Introduction

Knee arthritis is a degenerative condition marked by inflammation in the knee joint, leading to pain and stiffness. The most common type, osteoarthritis, is characterized by the progressive breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage, the knee’s natural cushioning. This results in bone-on-bone contact, causing pain, swelling, and reduced mobility.

Risk factors for knee arthritis include age, genetics, weight, previous injuries, and high-impact physical activities. It’s a chronic condition with no cure, but there are a variety of treatment options that can help to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

The choice of treatment, including whether to undergo surgery, depends on the severity of the condition and the impact on the individual’s daily life. With mild arthritis symptoms, medications and physical therapy to strengthen the muscles in the knee can helpalleviate symptoms, but as the condition progresses, surgery may be recommended to repair, strengthen, or replace the damaged knee joint.

Knee Arthroscopy

Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to diagnose and treat knee conditions, such as a meniscus tear, and mild or localized arthritis. An orthopedic surgeon will make two tiny incisions on the knee and insert a specialized camera, called an arthroscope, to examine the joint. Although osteoarthritis of the knee cannot be fixed with arthroscopy, the procedure allows the surgeon to assess the condition of the cartilage and identify any underlying issues.

During the procedure, they may also repair damaged structures, remove loose fragments, or smooth out rough edges, providing relief from pain and improving mobility.The can also treat tears of the meniscus which often exist along with some arthritis.

Advantages of knee arthroscopy:

  • Minimally invasive
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Lower risk of complications

When To Consider Knee Replacement Surgery

In advanced cases of arthritis, when there is bone against bone or when less invasive treatments have failed to provide adequate relief, knee replacement surgery is the definitive treatment to alleviate symptoms of pain and dysfunction.

During knee replacement surgery, the surgeon removes the damaged surfaces of the knee joint and replaces them with artificial components made from metal alloys and high-grade plastics. Types of knee replacement surgery include:

  • Total Knee Replacement (TKR): The entire knee joint is replaced in this procedure. It’s the most common form of knee replacement surgery.
  • Partial Knee Replacement (PKR): Only the most damaged part of the knee is replaced, making it a less invasive option with a faster recovery time. However, it’s only suitable for patients with arthritis confined to a specific part of the knee.

Advantages of knee replacement surgery:

  • Significant reduction in pain
  • Substantial improvement in mobility and quality of life
  • Durable with most replacements lasting around 20 years with proper care

Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement

Minimally invasive total knee replacement replacesall of the damaged joint surfaces with a prosthetic implant, but during the procedure, the orthopedic surgeon uses special surgical techniques and instruments to preserve the muscles and tissues around the joint which can result in less damage to the surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments and improve the early recovery process.

Consequently, patients can experience a faster recovery time, less postoperative pain, and a quicker return to daily activities.

Minimally Invasive Partial Knee Replacement

For patients with arthritis limited to only one part of the knee, a minimally invasive partial knee replacement may be an option. This procedure replaces only the damaged portion of the joint, preserving the healthy cartilage and bone in the other areas of the knee.

Like a minimally invasive total knee replacement, this surgery focuses on preserving the muscles and tendons around the knee to potentially reduce the risk of complications and quickening recovery time.

Potential advantages of minimally invasive knee replacement surgery:

  • Less trauma to surrounding tissues
  • Faster recovery time
  • Reduced postoperative pain
  • Quicker return to daily activities

MAKOplasty Robotic-Assisted Joint Replacement

MAKOplasty is a highly advanced, robotic-assisted procedure that offers unparalleled precision in joint replacement surgery. Using a 3D knee model, the orthopedic surgeon can design a personalized surgical plan tailored to your unique anatomy. The robot assists with the procedure, ensuring precise execution of the plan.

Advantages of MAKOplastyrobotic-assisted joint replacement:

  • Customized surgical plan
  • Enhanced precision and accuracy
  • Reduced damage to surrounding tissues
  • Optimal implant placement

Consult an Orthopedic Surgeon

Before deciding on the best course of treatment, it is crucial to consult a qualified orthopedic surgeon specializing in knee arthritis. They can assess your condition, review your medical history, and discuss the different surgical options available to you. Together, you can determine the most suitable approach for your specific needs and lifestyle.

In addition to surgery, it is essential to maintain a healthy weight and engage in low-impact exercises to manage knee arthritis symptoms effectively. Physical therapy will also be recommended after surgery to improve strength and mobility. By exploring all the surgical options and working closely with a medical professional, you can find relief from knee arthritis pain and get back to doing the things you love.

Knee Arthritis Specialist in Raleigh, Apex, and Durham, NC

If you are experiencing symptoms of knee arthritis and are considering your treatment options, visit board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Brett J. Gilbert, for expert care. Specializing in minimally invasive muscle-sparing knee replacements and a wide range of treatment options for knee arthritis, Dr Gilbert can help you get back to doing the activities you enjoy as quickly as possible.

Dr Gilbert will assess your condition and provide you with the guidance and expertise you need to make an informed decision about your treatment and recovery.

So, don’t let knee pain hold you back – take control of your health today. Call our office at (919) 788-8797. You can also request your visit using our appointment request form, or you can self-schedule your appointment here.

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