When arthritis attacks the knee, it can limit your mobility, cause pain and affect your daily living in many ways. Non-surgical treatments are usually a first choice in treating osteoarthritis but your physician may eventually recommend surgery to help alleviate pain and improve function. Surgical treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee is used in an attempt to reduce pain, increase function and improve most other symptoms.
Arthroscopy is often used in knee surgeries. Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that uses small incisions and miniature instruments and allows your surgeon to trim damaged cartilage, remove loose particles or debris from the joint and clean the joint. Arthroscopy can be helpful if your joint pain results from a tear in the cartilage or meniscus, or if bits of debris are causing problems with bending or straightening the joint.
An arthroplasty is a joint replacement procedure. If your knee pain is severe and significantly limits your movement, your physician may recommend that the diseased bone and tissue be replaced by an artificial joint.
A partial knee replacement involves resurfacing portions of the knee that are worn out, damaged by injury or suffering from arthritis, and does not disrupt tendons or muscles. About 15 percent of knee replacements are the partial knee, which involves a smaller incision and a faster recovery time.
Dr. Richards Williamson describes a total knee as more of a surface replacement, putting new durable surfaces on the moving parts of the knee along with a metal implant to hold it in place and create a “smooth, pain-free articulation.”
Once of the newest development is gender-specific knee implants, plus the addition of a wider variety of sizes and shapes to best match the variety of patients.