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Guide: Partial Knee Replacement

In the past century, medical science has made exponential progress. This progress hasn’t restricted itself to any one particular branch of medicine; instead, it has trickled down into each specialty, whether it is gynecology, cardiology, or neurology. In particular, with orthopedics, this progress has alleviated symptoms and helped individuals with conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or dislocations.

With the onset of age or a traumatic experience, there are several conditions that an aging individual or an injured individual can begin to experience. In the case of age-associated arthritis or post-traumatic arthritis, individuals begin to experience symptoms of their joint wearing and tearing, resulting in reduced motions, pain, disturbance in daily activities, and stiffness.

The Diagnosis & Treatment

Through consulting with a center, individuals can reach a conclusive understanding of their bone health. Rather than living with painful symptoms and a reduced range of motion, it is important to administer the required interventions, be it through a surgical procedure. A specialist and experienced doctor will consider your symptoms, will perform a thorough physical exam to check for loss of motion or swollen joints and will use X-rays and blood tests, to reach a firm diagnosis.

There are a variety of options through which arthritis can be treated. These treatments plan are inclusive of exercise, diet, and physical therapy. In certain cases, however, a surgical procedure is critical due to the degree of joint damage. Following are the conditions when a partial-knee replacement surgery becomes imperative:

  • The pain persists despite taking anti-inflammatory drugs paired with maintaining healthy body weight.
  • If an X-ray determines an individual’s eligibility for a partial-knee replacement, due to the damage being contained to a particular compartment.

If left untreated with no human intervention, individuals can face painful deformity and immobility for the entire course of their life.  

The Necessity for a Partial Knee Replacement

As a result of the breakdown of the cartilage being restricted to a particular compartment, a partial knee replacement surgery (uni-compartmental knee) becomes a suitable option. This form of surgery involves resurfacing only a part of the knee, be it the medial, lateral, or patella-femoral compartment of the knee, as opposed to the entire knee. A doctor replaces the impaired compartment by using an artificial implant, termed as a prosthesis. With only minimal resurfacing of the knee, the natural motion is restored, and pain is alleviated. It is plausible for one to wonder or for individuals to weigh in the pros and cons of a partial knee replacement surgery due to the recovering time involved, the uncertainty of functionality, and concerns of a partial knee replacement scar.

However, by understanding the following elements, individuals can understand how partial knee surgery, when carried out with precision, practice, and skill, can result in beneficial results, both in the short-term and long-term.

  • It is a minimally-invasive procedure, which maintains natural ligaments.
  • It allows patients to go home the same day.
  • It enables patients to have a full range of motions two weeks post their surgery.
  • Most patients are pain free in two weeks post their surgery.
  • With an incision being inevitable during the surgery, scarring is minimal and can be expedited with appropriate care. It is, however, also dependent on genetics and exposure to sun rays.

Should Younger Individuals Opt For Partial Knee Replacement?

In the past, partial knee replacement surgery was set aside for older patients. However, focusing on how the recovery time is faster, paired with less pain, and being highly-effective, the surgery has increasingly become a preferred option for younger patients.

Partial knee replacement patients tend to heal faster and do better than total knee replacement patients. This is because the surgery is minimally invasive, resulting in less bone removal and preservation of native tissues and ligaments. With individuals recovering faster and finding their replaced knee to be relatively ‘natural feeling,’ patients can reestablish their normal functioning range, with ease and in a short period.    

Hip Preservation Surgery: Conditions and Treatments

Hip preservation is a growing branch of medicine that is starting to gain a lot of clinical traction with very good outcomes and a lot of data and research time invested into it. In the past, hip preservation surgery was considered a surgical intervention categorized for old-adults, grappling with the strenuous implications of growing old.

In recent times, an increasing number of young individuals have begun to require the need for hip preservation surgery. This is owing to a combination of factors, which is inclusive of congenital conditions and due to partaking in extreme motions, such as playing football and hockey or engaging in gymnastics. Not only does this surgical procedure prevent the need for an eventual hip replacement, but it also prevents the onset of arthritis and facilitates the stable functioning of the joint (cartilage).

This preventive surgery targets and manages a broad-spectrum of hip deformities, which are inclusive of osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, labral tears, and hip impingement. With individuals looking to continue and sustain their sporting activities, be it playing golf or partaking in long-distance running, it is essential for individuals to take preventive measures, than be pushed into taking remedial measures.

The Pathway to Take For Sustaining Bone Health

Individuals should opt to see a specialist who is devoted to procedures of a hip preservation center in Denver with Dr. Presley Swann. These centers have highly specialized surgeons, such as Dr. Presley Swann operating for them, who is experienced and have extra fellowship training in conducting arthroscopy for FAI (femoral acetabular impingement) and repairing abductor dysfunction. He specializes in hip and knee preservation and reconstruction, making him the best option for non-invasive or minimally invasive surgical procedures.

The Conditions Requiring Hip Preservation Surgery  

Hip preservation surgery can often be required after a traumatic accident, e.g., a fall or repeated minor injuries which can cause individuals to develop labral tears. They can also develop FAI, which is categorized by a structural abnormality within the hip joint that causes detrimental friction between the acetabulum and the femoral head. Moreover, they also could be grappling with hip dysplasia, which is described as a general hip instability, with an increased risk of dislocation caused due to a hip socket that is too shallow to uphold the ball of the hip.

Arthritis is also a common reason for requiring preservation surgery amongst old patients, as due to the constant wear and tear of the bones, the bones lose their density and capacity. However, amongst younger individuals, post-traumatic arthritis is a more common reason for requiring surgical intervention, as due to some form of injury, the cartilage in the hip joint starts to progressively erode with the passage of time. 

The Route to Diagnosing the Condition

Rather than allowing their pain threshold to be pushed to the maximum limit, it is important to diagnose the problem at an early stage. Using preventive measures and treating the issue before it results in a drastic scenario is highly important, to inhibit a life-long predicament and unnecessary pain. The defining characteristics or major symptoms of hip deformities are severe pain in the hip joint, loss of mobility in the joint, pain while wearing shoes or socks, pain while getting out of a car or pain while rising from a seated position.

As these types of signs and signals become more frequent, individuals should head towards scheduling an appointment as soon as possible, as health takes precedence over all matters. Dr. Presley Swann will be happy to see you and help with the pain!

An All-Embracing Treatment for Hip Preservation

Surgical interventions are often necessary after failing conservative treatment, as it not only alleviates hip pain but also enables the person to restore normal function. The solution comprises a mix of physical therapy, arthroscopy, injections, and the use of anti-inflammatories, due to this multi-disciplinary approach, returning flexibility, functionality, ease, and range of motions to the person’s joint.

What Is Hip Preservation?

The conversations surrounding hip preservation are becoming more mainstream in the field of orthopedics.  There are several perspectives and viewpoints from the top doctors that are well received amongst the general orthopedic community. Old age hip preservation thinking was based upon old adults needing a hip replacement.  Today, hip preservation has risen to the forefront, as an increasing number of young adults are looking to alleviate hip pain early and restore function and kinematics all while reducing pain.  

Hip preservation is essentially a surgical intervention, which defers or inhibits the onset of arthritis or the eventual need for a hip replacement. Decades ago, old adults, battling the crippling signs of aging, such as osteoporosis or osteomalacia, opted for surgical procedures concerning their hip joints. In this day and age, due to malnutrition, improper posture, or even extreme hip motions, such as playing hockey, football, or gymnastics, can wreak havoc on a young adult’s bone health.Individuals with femoroacetabular impingement, also known as FAI, can develop this condition by either engaging in excessive extreme motions or can be born with hips that inherently have an abnormal shape.

If left untreated, this deformity can lead to the progression of an early hip replacement. There are, however, specialist physicians who specialize in the setting of developmental, congenital, and acquired hip deformities, as it’s better to treat them than prolong the process. The intention and purpose of this surgical intervention are primarily to preserve the lining of the joint in a stable condition and avoid the unfortunate need for a hip replacement.  Patients will often come to these conclusions after experiencing painful and recurring symptoms and getting help at the appropriate time is critical to preserving the hip.

The Symptoms

Comprehending and figuring out the symptoms is highly important, as otherwise, individuals can have quite painful and rapid labral or bone deterioration.  The symptoms of FAI are inclusive of hip pain while indulging in twisting activities such as athletics, pain while getting out and in a car, pain while wearing socks and shoes, and pain while standing up from a seated posture or position. This sort of pain can also occur due to being seated for a prolonged period or after any kind of demanding athletic activity. As a consequence, the individual’s range of motions can become limited and can also lead to difficulty in sitting with crossed legs.

The Diagnosis

In an effort to bring these symptoms to a lasting end, individuals are recommended to consult Dr. Presley Swann and his hip preservation center, as these centers can diagnose, can guide, and can administer the relevant interventions, to prevent any extreme scenarios. Harnessing a combination of physical examination, medical history, and imaging, a hip preservation center based in Denver can easily detect any underlying or prevalent problem.

Through an X-Ray, the practitioners can present the initial measurements. While, a CT scan, will enable them to gain a comprehensive perspective through a three-dimensional structure of the hip. An MRI, will, on the other hand, detect any present lesions, e.g., cartilage damage or labral tears, which are typically linked with FAI.  MRIs can also be used to create complex 3D rendering models of the hip to show motion simulations.  Moreover, it is also possible for a physician to administer an injection of cortisone to determine whether the pain is originating from the joint or any other area.

A Suitable Intervention

Opting for a suitable surgical intervention is often necessary to prevent the onset of arthritis or eliminate the need for hip replacement surgery.  Several centers use arthroscopic techniques to combat FAI. This procedure is inclusive of using minimally invasive incisions to deal with hip disorder, which includes bony abnormalities and the presence of soft tissues. This intervention can be highly beneficial for relieving pain while simultaneously preserving the hip joint and its function. Taking only a few hours and leading the patient to be on crutches for three to four weeks, the process can help the patient return to their sport or full activity level within a time frame of four to six months.